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December 16, 2013

KPMG UK cost cutting increases profitability, but leaves revenues flat

KPMG UK’s revenues have increased by just 0.4% to £1,782m ($2,112m) in the year to 30 September 2013, while profits increased by 27% to £455m and average partner pay increased by 23% to £713,000 per year.

Audit revenues were up 2% to £483m and represented 22% of the firm’s overall fees earned in the past year.

Tax revenues increased 3% to £390m and advisory revenues were down 1% to £916m. Advisory services amount to 51% of KPMG UK’s overall fees earned and the firm said advisory services annual contribution to profits was up 15% to £308m.

In 2012 KPMG UK revenues were up 4%, however profits were down 13% and the firm announced a cost cutting plan, which included the loss of 300 jobs across the firm.

KPMG UK chairman and senior partner Simon Collins told International Accounting Bulletin in a recent interview that no further cost cutting is planned and that the firm is looking to start investing again.

Collins said improved profitability "means that not only have we been able to increase our employee bonus pool but we have also reserved part of this year’s profit for investment in improving the quality and increasing the breadth of our services, with plans to invest £450m in the UK over the next three years".

"This investment is already starting to take shape with the opening of our new Tax Compliance centre in Glasgow in April; the acquisition of Makinson Cowell, which completed in June, and the launch of the KPMG Capital investment fund in November," he added.

The number of partners at KPMG UK decreased over that past fiscal by about 25 partners to 583, who saw an average pay increase of 23% to £713,00 per year.

This increase brings KPMG profit per partner more or less in line with the rest of the Big Four, with Deloitte UK average profit per partner at 772,000, PwC’s at 705,000 and EY UK’s at 651,000 in the past fiscal.

In its financial results KPMG UK also includes the Saudi Arabia firm, which reported £32m in revenues, bringing the overall revenue of the firm to £1,814m.

Last week KPMG reported global revenues of $23,42bn, up 1.7%.

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KPMG UK

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