Earlier this month, the firm – which changed its name from Andersen Consulting at the beginning of last year, four months after its acrimonious divorce from the accounting firm – announced a 6% rise in global revenues to $2.99bn (£2bn) for the quarter to November 2001.
But in an exclusive interview with Accountancy Age this week, UK chief executive Ian Watmore said revenue growth in the UK was even sharper in the year to August 2000.
‘In August in the UK and Ireland we hit the £1bn barrier mark,’ he said.
‘The previous year we just hit $1bn. So we grew by 40% in one year which was the biggest growth of the major areas of our firm. And that’s continued in the first quarter.’
Despite staff cutbacks and slower growth among the Big Five, Watmore said Accenture planned to recruit 500 new people in the UK this year – an 8% increase on its current work force of about 6,500. ‘We’ve taken the view that the market difficulties of the last few months are not going to go on forever and we’ve got a lot of good people we want to keep,’ he added.
‘So why would we want to fire them now and rehire them expensively in six or nine months’ time – if we can get them back.’
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