Business is surging for accountancy firm Ernst & Young. Fee income for the UK firm rose by 21 per cent on a l ike-for-like basis to £511 million for the six months to December 31.
Ernst & Young chairman, Nick Land, said that each of the firm's separate arms - business assurance services, tax services and transaction services - notched up significant growth.
Business assurance services saw growth of 26 per cent, with fee income growing by £53m from £202 million to £255 million.
The increase in tax services was 13 per cent, rising from £128 million to £144 million, while transaction advisory services saw growth of 21 per cent, an increase from £92 million to £112 million.
Mr Land, who is retiring at the end of June, said: "Our corporate tax and transaction advisory practices were well placed to reap the benefits of increased corporate and private equity activity and have both shown excellent growth in the period."
He added: "Business assurance continued to show strong growth, primarily driven by International Financial Reporting Standards, and Sarbanes Oxley related work, and the demanding regulatory climate, as well as the focus being placed by company boards on the management of risk."
Turning to future prospects, he said: "Our tax and transaction practices will continue to benefit from a good level of corporate activity although we remain exposed to shifts in business confidence.
"The volume of IFRS and Sox related work will begin to tail off but the demand for assurance services is expected to remain strong, albeit not at the growth levels experienced in the last two years.
"Overall our business will continue to be resource constrained and our growth rates will be governed by our ability to recruit and retain talented people."
During the half year Ernst & Young took on another 800 people, including 43 more partners.
Ronnie Bowker, Ernst & Young senior partner in Birmingham, said the office had also done well from IFRS and Sarbanes-Oxley.
He went on: "Corporates continue to have an appetite for transactions and are keen t o invest, resulting in increased activity for our corporate finance and tax practices.
"Our corporate finance team advised on two of last year's largest IPOs in the region - Foseco and Britvic.
"If the current level of economic confidence remains, Ernst & Young in Birmingham will continue to benefit from this buoyant market.
"Difficult trading conditions in certain sectors locally have resulted in a high level of activity for the corporate restructuring practice, with partners David Duggins and Ian Best being appointed to some high profile regional assignments.
"Sourcing top professionals with the right skills and qualifications remains a major c hallenge for many accountancy firms, but one which Ernst & Young is more than prepared for.
"The firm is defined by its people and as such we have invested and will continue to invest in fresh talent over the coming year.
"Our focus of investing in people will lead to a number of homegrown and direct entry partner appointments in the coming year, adding strength to our expanding partner team."