EY books global revenues of $36.4 billion as APAC again leads growth

05 September 2019 Consultancy.asia 8 min. read
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Big Four professional services firm Ernst & Young has reported global revenues of $36.4 billion for its past financial year – with the Asia Pacific continuing to lead growth.

The first out of the blocks to report among the Big Four, professional services giant Ernst & Young has clocked up $36.4 billion in combined global revenues for its financial year to June – up 8.0 percent in local currency terms on last year’s $34.8 billion result. Once again, the firm’s Asia Pacific geography has led the firm’s growth, pulling in $4.3 billion of the overall total for a year-on-year rise of 9.1 percent. This is EY’s ninth consecutive year of strong global growth.

“Asia-Pacific is a dynamic growth engine, both for EY and the global economy. In FY19, Asia-Pacific once again led EY globally, with the region averaging double digit growth over the past five years. These results underscore the extraordinary achievements of the teams across the region, and in particular the emerging ASEAN economies,” said EY’s Asia-Pacific Area Managing Partner Patrick Winter, who has just completed his first year in the role.

Although the firm’s APAC geography is almost certain to experience another bump in revenues next year – as it integrates EY’s Japan practice (this year contributing $1.2 billion to the global tally) – the region still lags well behind the firm’s Americas and EMEIA (Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa) divisions, which respectively accounted for $16.7 billion (up an impressive 8.5 percent) and $14.1 billion of the total.

EY Global FY19 results

The Asia Pacific has however added 10 percent to its headcount over the past year, including the recent elevation of nearly 200 new regional partners. Over 1,160 professionals joined EY’s partnership ranks worldwide during the course of the year (close to a third of those being women), while altogether the firm now has a global headcount in excess of 284,000 – up by 8.4 percent – with more than a sixth of those now based in the Asia Pacific.

In terms of service lines, Assurance continues to be the biggest income generator – bringing in $12.6 billion (up 4.4 percent) – but is on the verge of being eclipsed by Advisory, which has expanded to a $10 billion-plus global practice on the back of 12.3 percent compound annual growth over the past six years. While still trailing its tax line ($9.4 billion, up 8.6 percent), EY’s Transaction Advisory Services practice was the standout performer, with 15.5 percent growth.

“While the past year has seen a number of strains in the global economy – from trade tensions, protectionism and recession fears – we have achieved strong growth from our continued focus on long-term value creation using technology to transform traditional EY services and to launch new, innovative solutions,” said EY’s new Global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio, who assumed the helm from former head Mark Weinberger at the end of the financial year.

Serving to expand the organisation’s professional skills and capabilities in areas like digital, strategy, operations and technology, EY cited its 20 new acquisitions as among the firm’s highlights for the year, including APAC additions Plaut IT, a SAP consulting firm with operations in Australia and Malaysia; digital consultancy Adelphi (Australia, Singapore and Thailand); and cybersecurity firm Xnapse (Malaysia, China and Hong Kong).

“As technological disruption reshapes economies, businesses and the future of work, the demand for the tech-driven compliance and consulting services we provide is changing,” concluded Andy Baldwin, EY Global Managing Partner, Client Service. “We are fully focused on using leading-edge technology, delivering high-quality services, making greater use of our strong portfolio of alliances and on developing our talented EY people to be the world’s most trusted, distinctive professional services organisation.”