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November 23, 2009

BDO UK revenue drops 5 percent

By Nicholas Moody

BDO is the latest major UK firm to suffer a slump in revenue, reporting a 5 percent decrease to £335 million ($559 million) in the year to 3 July 2009. The revenue drop is a trend suffered by several leading UK firms in the latest reporting periods. The firm said the decline reflects a steep fall in mid-market transactions and one-off assignments.

Overall profit decreased from £65 million to £58.7 million. There were decreases in audit, corporate finance and tax. Corporate finance revenue alone was down £21.6 million.

BDO’s restructuring business showed the strongest performance, growing by 49 percent to £18.8 million, which the firm said was a result of increased activity related to the economic downturn.

The restructuring practice increased its number of partners by a third, and added 28 secondees and 20 permanent staff. The firm’s forensic services and investment management practice also showed modest growth.

In July, the firm announced 10 percent of its 235 partners from its UK business were to leave the firm. This followed BDO’s alignment of its tax and audit practices in February, which reduced the size of its leadership team to six.

In December 2008, the firm also cut 250 jobs across the country, which represented about 8 percent of its total workforce.

BDO has reduced its graduate intake, which was down 12 percent to 138 in September 2008. In 2009, it expects this to drop to about 100.

BDO UK expanded its overseas businesses in the past year, opening a new corporate finance and advisory arm in Dubai and pouring funds into BDO India.

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