Ernst & Young reported Tuesday that its fiscal year 2013 global revenue reached $25.8 billion, the fastest growth in five years, indicating the firm has bounced back since the financial crisis.
The global revenues of $25.8 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 represents 7.7 percent growth over the previous financial year in local-currency terms, EY’s swiftest growth rate since 2008. Revenues at the global firm also grew 5.8 percent in U.S. dollar terms.
All of EY’s service lines and geographies continued to grow revenues and headcount despite uneven market conditions in many parts of the world, the firm noted. EY’s emerging-market practices experienced an even better combined revenue growth of 12 percent, while headcount around the world reached an all-time high of 175,000 employees, and the firm plans to hire 55,000 more recruits and interns in the year ahead.
“I congratulate our 175,000 great people around the world for providing exceptional, high-quality service to our clients, contributing to our strong sense of purpose, and delivering an impressive set of results,” said EY global chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger in a statement. “Everything we have accomplished this year is due to them and I am extremely grateful for everything they have done. To achieve a robust performance despite a difficult economic environment in the last 12 months demonstrates their talent and energy as well as their commitment to quality. Looking forward, there remain significant economic and geopolitical uncertainties in developed and fast-growth emerging markets. Despite these short term uncertainties, we continue to invest for the long term. In FY14 we are demonstrating our confidence in the future of the global economy and our profession by investing heavily in new markets and new services as well as planning to add 55,000 new recruits and interns over the next 12 months.”
In fiscal 2013, EY recruited more than 38,000 full-time staff (including 24,000 graduates and 14,000 experienced hires) and 12,500 interns, and grew its headcount to 175,000. EY expects to hire more than 42,000 (27,000 graduates and 15,000 experienced hires) full-time people and 13,000 interns in FY14. In July, EY announced that 131 (26 percent) of its 520 new partners were women, up from 19 percent five years ago.
EY was recently recognized by Universum as the most attractive destination for business graduates looking for a career in professional services, and as the second-most attractive employer overall.
Service Line Growth
Growth in nearly all of EY’s service lines was largely organic, coming from within the firm rather than from mergers and acquisitions. “Across all of our service lines we continue to perform well in a highly competitive and challenging marketplace,” said EY global chief operating officer John Ferraro.
Revenues at EY’s largest practice, assurance, grew more than 4 percent to $10.9 billion. Audit revenues increased 2.4 percent. Revenue from fraud and investigation services grew 23 percent, while financial accounting advisory services revenue increased 30 percent.
Global revenues from tax services increased over 7 percent to $6.9 billion, marking the third consecutive year of strong growth. Advisory services achieved its third year of double-digit growth in fiscal 2013, with revenue of $5.8 billion and growth of 18 percent. Revenue from EY’s Transaction Advisory Services line grew 3 percent to $2.2 billion, the fourth consecutive year of growth at a time when global M&A activity continues to suffer sharp declines in virtually every market.
EY’s strongest-performing industry sectors, which all experienced double-digit growth, were the automotive, financial services, consumer products, government and public sector, and power and utilities industries.
Performance by Region
EY’s revenues in the Americas climbed 10.4 percent in fiscal 2013, with strong growth in both North and South America. Highlights included 10 percent growth in the U.S. and 24 percent growth in Brazil. The revenue increase in the Americas region was primarily driven by EY’s advisory and financial services practices.
Revenue in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa experienced comparatively healthy growth of 7 percent given the ongoing economic problems in several countries. EY saw particularly strong performance in certain emerging markets, including Turkey (19 percent), India (17 percent), the Middle East (13 percent) and Africa (11 percent), but also in developed countries such as Italy (9 percent) and Germany (8 percent).
Despite weakening economic conditions across parts of the region, EY’s Asia-Pacific practice grew by 3.9 percent, led by strong growth of 10 percent in China. Vietnam also posted notable growth in fiscal 2013 with an increase of 14 percent. Japan returned to a modest growth rate of 0.8 percent after several years of flat revenues despite the slower economic recovery in the country. Overall EY’s emerging markets practices had a combined revenue growth of 12 percent.
In addition to setting aside significant sums to continue its commitment to emerging markets, EY said it has also made major investments in the services it provides to clients as part of its Vision 2020 initiative, which was launched earlier this year.
“Over the next three years we will spend $400 million on improving our audit methodologies and tools to continue to enhance audit quality,” said Weinberger. “At the same time, a major investment in technology and services, $1.2 billion over the next three years, will deliver transformational technologies to help EY better connect with our clients.”
Corporate Responsibility Initiatives
On July 1, EY announced a new global brand name, unveiled a new logo and adopted the tagline “Building a better working world” as its motto.
“Every day, every EY person is part of building a better working world—for our clients, our communities and our families,” said Weinberger. “We believe that everything we do—every audit, every tax return, every advisory opportunity, every interaction with a client or colleague—contributes to building a better working world. We provide timely and transparent information, assisting the world’s capital markets; help our clients improve and grow so they could hire more people and invest in their communities; assist entrepreneurs in bringing their products and ideas to fruition; develop and inspire leaders in EY and those who go on to other critical roles in society; and give back to the communities in which we serve and live in many different ways.”
Last week EY announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment a commitment to develop and support 15,000 women-owned businesses, by strengthening their capacity to enter corporate supply chains and increasing the spend they receive by $1.5 billion annually, Weinberger noted, while also pointing to other initiatives at the firm.
“Last year we also continued our involvement with organizations such as Endeavor, a leading global not-for-profit organization focusing on high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets who have to date created more than 200,000 jobs and annually generate $5 billion of revenues,” he said. “Since we began our relationship with Endeavor we have provided monetary and in-kind value of more than $31 million. This includes around $6.5 million in the last year, of which $5.2 million represented the value provided by basing some of our highest performing people in the entrepreneurs’ companies for five to seven week periods."
He noted that EY is also a key supporter of The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship's mission to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures.
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