MCA firms keep on growing

Around 80% of member firms’ revenue grew in the first three months of 2004, compared to just 37% in the previous quarter.

The encouraging statistic was revealed by the MCA as it reported that revenue has grown for the sixth successive quarter. Revenues reached £1,476m for Q1 2004, a 5.3% increase on the previous quarter (£1,336m).

MCA president Lynton Barker said: ‘Current trends indicate that we are entering a period of gradual but sustained recovery.’

Utilisation rates and orders were ‘above normal’ for the last six months, but fees remained low while costs increased.

Barker said that clients were still exerting pressure on fees, and consultants had to focus on the value they could create for clients rather than the associated costs.

MCA members reported a strong increase in new business and in the recruitment of consultants, and were more confident about the prospects for the UK economy. The outlook for member firms’ overall business and that of their clients has hovered above the mid point for the last three quarters.

Financial services and the public sector are the most likely areas of growth in the near future.

IT consulting revenues grew steadily to £300m for Q1 2004 from £293m in the previous quarter, while outsourcing consultancy services jumped sharply to £530m from £412m.

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