EY Australia revenue rises 9.8% to $1.785 billion - delivering on major infrastructure projects is core to EY’s purpose

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

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Revenue at professional services firm EY rose 9.8%, to $1.785 billion for the 12 months to June 30, 2018. EY Oceania ranked as one of the fastest growing regions in the developed markets across EY’s US$31.4 billion global network (2017). Virtually all the growth was organic.

The result was underpinned by an active M&A market, significant audit wins, and robust demand for people advisory and digital consulting services. Connectivity and teaming across the globe, and in particular Asia Pacific, have led to real value for clients and success in the market.

“This is an outstanding result, we’ve achieved fantastic momentum which has continued into the beginning of FY19,” EY Oceania Managing Partner and Chief Executive Tony Johnson said.

“It is a credit to the smarts and work ethic of our partners and everyone of our 6000 people who have been agile, bold and confident in a demanding and disrupted environment.”

All service lines and sectors grew. Assurance grew strongly where External Audit had a particularly impressive year, up 6.3% to $375 million and winning a number of significant engagements including BHP, Ardent Leisure, Beach Energy, Primary Health and RACQ with an intense focus on audit quality.

Demand from organisations seeking to support their people through change programs boosted fees in EY’s People Advisory Services division by 11.3%.

“More companies recognise that investing in a strategic people agenda will drive greater profitability, particularly as teams become more global, diverse and complex, so we expect demand for leadership and culture related services to continue growing,” Mr Johnson said.

Double digit growth in Transaction Advisory Services came in part from infrastructure and M&A lead advisory.

“We are proud of the impact our market-leading infrastructure advisory team is having on the better delivery of services to citizens, truly consistent with our purpose of building a better working world. We are currently advising on over $100 billion of new projects – in areas such as health, human services, transport, social housing, water and defence,” Mr Johnson said.

“EY Parthenon’s strategic capability means we are involved in capital events earlier and the broadening of our offering means we are being asked by clients to help with implementation and the realisation of benefits from the transaction.”

M&A roles included lead advisor on Reece’s $A1.9 billion transformational acquisition in the United States.

Demand for digital transformation services, cyber security, robotics, data analytics and the need for risk management advice saw revenue from EY’s Advisory division grow strongly. Tax growth was driven by both transaction activity and technology transformation.

By industry sector, financial services, agri and consumer industrial products outperformed. Financial services growth was fuelled by M&A, cyber services and the response to a changing regulatory environment whilst agri and consumer industrial products growth was from digital and supply chain transformation.

Building a Better Working World and the Future of Work

2018 continued to see the enterprise wide embedding of EY’s purpose of Building a Better Working World, positively impacting the brand and resonating strongly with clients, communities and staff – helping provide the context for the firm’s focus on the future of work, well-being and a diverse, safe and inclusive workforce.

Inclusiveness and diversity

FY18 was a landmark year for diversity and inclusion at EY. For the first time in history, the Oceania executive leadership team has achieved its ambition of gender equality.

There were 57 new admissions to EY’s Australian partnership in 2018. This contingent of future leaders boosted EY Australia’s total partner numbers to 561, up from 540 on the prior year.

In June, EY adopted a cultural diversity target of 30% culturally or linguistically diverse partners by 2022.

EY ranked No.1 employer on the Australian Workplace Equality Index, which measures employers on their degree of LGBTI inclusion.

Return-to-work programs

EY received 128 applications for its new EY Reconnect recruitment program for women who have been out of the workplace for 2-10 years. Half of these applicants were shortlisted for various roles, with 20 taking a place in the program and others hired directly into the business.

“I’m excited by what we’ve achieved in the first year of our Reconnect program. As we grow and our workforce becomes more diverse, we need to work harder to ensure we’re attracting and retaining people through encouraging them to speak up and share their ideas,” Mr Johnson said.

US$1 billion tech investment

EY globally has committed to invest US$1 billion over the next two financial years to create new technology-based services and solutions in areas such as financial services, cyber, risk management, managed services, software services as well as digital tax and audit services.

“Our audit tool, EY Canvas, is the first totally online platform in the profession, powering one connected global audit. With EY Helix - our suite of analysers – it enables a digitised audit process from end to end,” Mr Johnson said.

“Oceania clients and people will benefit significantly from this investment, a function of EY’s global structure. EY led the pack in re-shaping itself to globally integrate, in response to client needs, back in 2010.”

Acquisitions on the horizon

While EY’s FY18 revenue uplift came from virtually all organic growth, Mr Johnson said acquisitions will continue to feature in the firm’s future.

“Acquisitions absolutely have to be part of the growth strategy, but it has to be measured. We will buy in areas that have the biggest tailwinds behind them, where clients have a real hunger for those services, and where we have pent up demand,” Mr Johnson said.

Advisory is projected to be the fastest growing part of EY’s business in FY19. “Digital and automation are embedded in all parts of our business and that is where the future lies and where the growth will come from,” Mr Johnson said. “With over 2000 bots enabling what we do, we’ve only just scratched the surface on the potential of data analytics and automation to undertake manual tasks.”

“This year we asked twelve graduates with engineering and finance backgrounds to explore for twelve weeks how we turbo charge the use of data analytics and robotics on our audit engagements. GradLabs was audacious and a huge success.”

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Notes to Editors

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young Australia, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

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