London — Consulting firm Accenture is cutting up to 900 jobs, or 8% of its UK workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted a sharp slump in demand for its advisory work.

Between 700 and 900 jobs will be affected by the planned cuts, an Accenture spokesperson said on Thursday in an e-mail. The company has notified staff and plans “collective consultation” for a programme of redundancy.

Accenture already had “an overcapacity of people relative to demand” when the economic crisis hit in March, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing an internal memo to staff.

The memo said the crisis slowed employee attrition, put additional strain on the business and also revealed structural costs that Accenture needs to address, according to  The Guardian.

Companies across the UK are laying off staff in the face of slumping revenue. Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said this week that the outlook for jobs is the biggest risk to the UK economy, particularly as employee furlough programmes end in August.

Reuters reported last week that the consulting firm reported revenue was down nearly 1% to $10.99bn, edging past average analysts' estimate of $10.87bn, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $1.23bn, or $1.90 per share, in the quarter ended May 31, from $1.25bn, or $1.93 per share, a year earlier.

Bloomberg, Reuters

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