Consultancies hard hit by the crisis: FD
Friday 06 July 2012
The Netherlands' bigger consultancy groups have been hit by the economic crisis and are being forced to redefine their strategies, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.
The paper says 2011 turnover was down 20% on average compared with 2008 while profit margins have shrunk from 7% to between 3% and 4%. Major names such as Twynstra Gudde and GITP posted a loss last year, the paper points out.
Boer & Croon executive Jos Zandhuis told the FD he has not come across such difficult market conditions since the 1980s. Not only is the economic downturn having an effect, but companies are 'thinking more about what to do themselves and what to bring in from outside.'
IT consultants have been hardest hit, the paper says. For example, Ordina's turnover has gone down by 40% in three years. 'If cuts are being made, it is relatively easy to stop or delay and IT project,' chief executive Stepan Breedveld told the paper.
Despite the downturn, a recent ABN Amro report pointed to the growth of freelance consultants, who now control some 75% of the market, thanks in part to their lower fees.