Accenture beats analysts’ estimates

The consulting business, which listed on the NASDAQ index in July, saw net annual revenues climb by 17% on the year to $11.4bn (Pounds 7.9bn), Revenue over the fourth quarter grew more slowly at 11% to $2.78bn (Pounds 1.92bn).

Excluding one-time charges, operating income rose 13% to $1.45bn (Pounds 1bn), or 13% of net revenues, for the year, and $257m (Pounds 177m), or 9% of net revenues, for the fourth quarter.

Diluted earnings per share were $0.91 for the year and $0.12 for the fourth quarter.

Accenture chairman and CEO Joe Forehand said the results indicated a ‘strong performance’ for the year adding that the company had significantly exceeded its revenue and operating income targets, which he called a ‘notable accomplishment given the current economic environment’.

The company said it expected to take a ‘one-time charge’ of no more than $40m (Pounds 27.5m) in the first quarter of 2002 for costs related to the 11 September terror attacks in New York and Washington.

Accenture’s five global market units all showed double-digit growth, with its government unit topping the list and expanding by 26% to reach the one $1bn mark for the first time.

The company appeared to be unaffected by the recent global meltdown in IT and telecoms, as its communications & hi-tech unit grew by 15% to $3.23bn (Pounds 2.22bn) making it the biggest earner, while financial services generated revenues of $2.9bn (Pounds 2bn), up 14% on the year.

The US market again accounted for more than half of all revenues, totalling $6.18bn (Pounds 4.26bn) for the year, an increase of 17%, while revenues across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India were $4.44bn (Pounds 3.06bn), up 20%.

Forehand said the client-based focus of the business had contributed to Accenture?s success. Revenues from outsourcing, including business transformation outsourcing grew by 20% to $1.98bn (Pounds 1.36bn).

In August Accenture made headlines when it cut 1,500 or 2% of its workforce, although none of the cuts affected UK staff.

Later in the month it told 400 UK graduates to stay at home on half-salary, due to lack of work.


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