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October 2, 2009

Accenture results show decline in revenue, profit

Incurs restructuring charge of $253m during the quarter

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture has posted net revenue of $5.15 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, down 14% in US dollars and 7% in local currency compared to the same period last year.

Consulting net revenue slipped by 19% to $2.19 billion while Outsourcing net revenue dropped by 7% in US dollars, but increased by 1% in local currency to $2.23 billion, compared to the same period last year.

Unfavourable foreign-exchange rates pushed profits for third quarter down on the year-ago period, and the Bermuda-based company reported a net income of $254.7m against $434.8m it produced 12 months earlier.

The company incurred a restructuring charge of $253m related to the realignment of its workforce, primarily at the senior-executive level, and to global real-estate consolidation.

The company posted an operating income of $420m during the quarter, a sharp decline compared to $785m to the corresponding period in 2008. Excluding the restructuring charge, operating income was $672m, or 13.1% of net revenues. Gross margin improved 60 basis points to 32.3% from 31.7% in the same period last year, primarily driven by improved outsourcing contract margins.

The selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $985m, operating cash flow was $1.05 billion and equipment additions expenses were $75m. The company’s effective tax rate for the fourth quarter was 27.6%, as against 31.8% in the same period last year.

Almost all major divisions of the company showed a drop in net revenue. The communications & high tech group’s net revenue was down 21% to $1,118m, financial services group, 19% to $1,017m, products group, 17% to $1,286m and resources group, 10% to $943m. The public service group, however, posted an increase of 6% to $776m.

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By geographic region, revenue from Americas decreased by 11% to $2,264m while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was down by 20% to $2,274m. The revenue from Asia Pacific region, however, showed a marginal increase of 1% to $608m.

For the full year, net revenue was $21.58 billion, a decrease of 8% in US dollars and flat in local currency. Diluted earnings per share for the full year was $2.44, compared to $2.65 in fiscal 2008, and reflect a negative $0.24 impact from the restructuring charge. New bookings were $23.90 billion, operating income was $2.64 billion and operating margin was 12.3%.

In its outlook, Accenture expects net revenue to be in the range of $5.3 billion to $5.5 billion in the first quarter of 2009. For the full fiscal year 2010, it expects diluted EPS to be in the range of $2.64 to $2.72 and operating margin to be 13.4%. It is targeting new bookings in the range of $23 billion to $26 billion.

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