Monday 30, October 2017 by Jessica Combes

PwC Middle East records eight per cent revenue growth in FY17


PwC around the world reported total gross revenues of $37.7 billion for the year ending 30 June 2017.

At constant exchange rates, revenues grew by almost seven per cent, marking 20 years of consecutive revenue growth for the PwC network. In the Middle East, the firm registered an eight per cent revenue increase and solid growth across the board.

“Despite challenging economic conditions across the region, we recorded an 8 per cent revenue increase as we continued to invest heavily in people, capabilities and technology to deliver on our purpose of building trust in society and solving the region’s most important problems. All of our core businesses–assurance, tax & legal and advisory–performed strongly in FY17, with the firm expanding its service offering to be able to provide the full ‘Strategy through Execution’ capabilities to our clients,” said Hani Ashkar, Territory Senior Partner at PwC Middle East.

Ashkar added that significant opportunities were identified and PwC is proud to be at the forefront of supporting pivotal aspects of the region’s transformation. There was increased demand in particular for data analytics, digital, restructuring, privatisation, healthcare and VAT consulting work. Positive influences including public sector transformation programmes in the UAE and KSA in particular also contributed to the firm’s success in 2017.

“Our 4,200 people have been advising and supporting governments and businesses as they navigate some of the region’s biggest challenges, including declining oil prices, the roll-out and implementation of VAT, and the impact of technology, demographic shifts, and geopolitical uncertainties. We're also building trust, through our audits of some of the region's most iconic energy, transport, and financial services companies,” he added.

The firm performed well across all areas in FY17: with governments and businesses across the region focusing on efficiency, operational improvement and better financial management, one of the key areas of focus for the consulting business was ensuring the firm well positioned to support its clients in these critical areas. PwC expanded its healthcare team with world-class expertise, increased its focus on digital with the setup of PwC Digital Services–all areas of great relevance and interest to the region. Following the combination with PwC, Strategy& continued to perform well, building on its legacy of strong relationships, resolute focus on clients, deep industry insights, and outstanding talent. 

The firm’s assurance business had another good year, against a backdrop of cost pressures due to declining oil prices. There was strong growth in the firm’s capital markets and accounting services as well as in PwC’s Academy–the training business. 

Deals also recorded growth in FY17, especially in deals strategy which provides sector-specific insight in those sectors central to the region – healthcare; energy; infrastructure, construction and real estate; hospitality & leisure; and retail. The firm also focused intensely on areas that are likely to be more relevant in a challenging market. Forensics had a strong year, reflecting the impact of increased transparency and regulation on businesses and closer board and management scrutiny of financial performance.

Tax and legal services had a solid performance, continuing to strengthen PwC’s leading capabilities in international tax services, transfer pricing as well as helping our clients consider fiscal reform and prepare for the introduction of VAT across the region.

PwC is committed to recruiting top graduates, and the extent of the opportunities on offer, symbolised by its annual graduate intake which reached another record this year with 300 highly talented graduates provides a compelling reason for graduates to join a structured programme, straight from university, that will help them embark on their careers from a firm foundation.

The firm’s overall headcount increased to over 4,200, across the Middle East, with almost 1,000, in Saudi Arabia, including over 100 women and 35 per cent Saudi Nationals. Across our offices in the Middle East, the firm remains committed to having a truly diverse and inclusive workforce, and is making further progress: for example, in the area of gender diversity, 31 per cent of PwC’s Middle East workforce is female. 

TIMM: Total Impact Measurement and Management–measuring the firm’s contribution to society
For the second year, PwC has used itsTotal Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM) framework to monetise its economic, tax, social and environmental impacts on the Middle East Region. The firm sues TIMM to gauge its contribution to the economy and society, and weigh it against the impact on the environment. It’s one of the ways the firm is providing greater transparency for stakeholders, and improving the information used for decision-making. TIMM is also a tool deployed for clients to help them measure and manage their own impact.

The combined impact of the firm’s profits and payroll reflects its Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to the GDP of the region, which is estimated at $706 million. This economic impact is supplemented by its fiscal impact. PwC’s fiscal contribution is driven by the corporation taxes paid, the charges that the firm pays to local governments on behalf of its employees for visas and other public service fees, and the income tax paid by employees. The social impacts monetized are valued at $20 million. This reflects the investments made in training staff and the firm’s financial contribution to the health and education costs of employees.

“We are as confident as ever about the growth prospects for this region. Our aim is to support our region as it undergoes this economic transformation, embraces the digital era, and reshapes its operating models, so that it can realise its full potential. And our goal for ourselves is to continue to grow a responsible, profitable, and sustainable business guided by a clear Purpose, and to play our role in shaping the future of the Middle East” Ashkar added.