Accenture’s revenue growth slows to 1%

IT consultancy and outsourcing giant Accenture saw revenue growth drop to just 1% year-on-year during its most recent financial quarter. 

Group sales fell to $7.2 billion during the three months ending May 31, 2013. Without the impact of currency fluctuations, growth would have been 3%, Accenture says.

The company's growth has fallen steeply in the last two years. In the fourth quarter of 2011, it grew by 23% year-on-year. 

Accenture's consulting practice shrank by 2% year-on-year during the quarter, down to $3.9 billion. This reflected "a lower level of consulting bookings than expected and contracts converting to revenue at a slower rate overall than expected."

"In management consulting, the macro environment continues to be challenging and volatile," said CEO Pierre Nanterre on the company's earnings call. "Our clients held back on spending more than we expected, particularly in Europe and Brazil, and the environment is more competitive."

The company's consultancy bookings reflected growing demand for "industry-specific software solutions, where emerging technologies such as mobility, analytics and cloud are part of the mix", but also a "decrease in ERP work". 

This decline in demand for ERP consultancy was especially pronounced in Europe, Nanterre said. 

Outsourcing revenues rose 4% to $3.3 billion, as demand for both IT outsourcing and BPO grew, Accenture said. 

Accenture downgraded its revenue forecast for the full year from between 5% and 8% growth, to between 3% to 4%.

Shares in the company fell 7% following its financial report. 

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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