Technology and management consultancy and outsourcing provider Accenture saw demand for its consultancy services shrink during its most recent financial quarter.
“There has been a noticeable change in the demand environment, as clients grapple with how a macro environment full of continuing economic challenges impacts their priorities,” said chief finance officer Pam Craig.
Accenture generated overall revenues of $5.3 billion during the second quarter of the financial year. Once converted into dollars, that represents a 6% decline compared with last year’s second quarter, although when reported in local currencies it rose 3%.
That means that, while the company’s underlying business is still growing modestly, economic circumstances are gravely impacting its ability to make money. Nevertheless, profit was up by 1% to $411.4 million.
It was specifically the management consultancy practice that saw slowing demand, the company said. “Technology consulting continues to grow, with increased demand for services related to IT infrastructure cost reduction, compliance, data security and data privacy,” said Steve Rohleder, Accenture’s COO.
And the company’s outsourcing business fared better than consultancy. “In outsourcing, demand for application outsourcing remained strong as clients are seeking opportunities for near-term cost reductions,” said Rohleder.
“We are also seeing demand in BPO, particularly in finance and accounting and procurement,” he added. “This demand, coupled with the increased activity we are seeing in the pipeline, clearly supports our view that there is an acceleration in outsourcing opportunities.”