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DELOITTE MARKS EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF SOLID GROWTH

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DELOITTE MARKS EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF SOLID GROWTH
  • All Deloitte businesses, industries and regions grew fueled by organic growth, strategic alliances, and acquisitions
  • Nearly 70,000 new hires; 800 alone in the Middle East 

Deloitte just marked its eighth consecutive year of solid growth for the fiscal year ended 31 May 2017 (FY2017).

“Deloitte’s revenue growth is attributable to two factors,” said Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO. “First, our multi-disciplinary business model continues to be a source of competitive strength. Second, clients have choices and they are increasingly choosing Deloitte to help them navigate change and reinvent themselves in a constantly evolving global business environment.”

“This year marks Deloitte’s 91st year in the Middle East with continued presence since 1926. With close to 800 new hires last year, Deloitte continues to play a vital role in the growth of the professional services sector in this region”, said Omar Fahoum, CEO, Deloitte, Middle East. “Our commitment to serving our people, clients and the society with the highest standards of skills and deep industry knowledge is unwavering. We continue to make an impact that matters.”

Growth across all businesses, industries and regions

With a continued focus on creating an impact for clients across all geographies and service areas, Deloitte achieved growth in each of its five business areas—Audit & Assurance, Consulting, Financial Advisory, Risk Advisory and Tax & Legal.

Among the industries driving Deloitte’s growth in FY2017 were Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Consumer & Industrial Products; each grew revenue over 9 percent on a local currency basis.

  • Asia Pacific revenue grew fastest among the regions at 9 percent, followed by Europe, Middle East, and Africa at 8.6 percent and the Americas at 5.6 percent in local currency.

Getting to the future faster 

Increasing disruption, complexity, and the exponential speed of change has created unprecedented challenges and opportunities for clients. Deloitte’s ability to integrate deep industry insights and experience with a broad range of professional disciplines, has allowed it to help its clients get to the future faster.

Deloitte’s ability to orchestrate ecosystems and build alliances with leading digital innovators including Amazon Web Services, Facebook, HP, Oracle, and SAP enhance its ability to offer comprehensive solutions that address clients’ toughest business transformation and technology challenges. Through these ecosystems, Deloitte helps clients identify potential disruptors, develop strategies to address disruption and execute on business transformation activities such as new services, products, business models, and markets.

 Renjen added, “Deloitte continually builds on our capacity to deliver the depth and breadth of expertise, insight and quality our clients demand and deserve. As a result, Deloitte is a recognized leader in helping clients adapt and thrive in an intensely competitive global economy.”

 Investing in Transformation

Deloitte is making strategic investments in integrating transformational technologies and data analytics into its solutions and products across its businesses in order to drive greater value for clients. Examples of these investments in FY2017 include: 

  • Deploying world-class global solutions in Audit & Assurance, including Magnia, its audit delivery platform; Illumnia, its analytics platform; and Cognia, its portal equipping Audit & Assurance professionals with innovative tools and approaches which leverage cutting-edge advancements in cloud, AI, and machine-learning.
  • Driving audit quality enhancement through an Audit Quality Monitoring and Measurement program and the Global Center of Excellence for Audit Quality. Delivery of an enhanced global learning curriculum to its 70,000+ Audit & Assurance professionals world-wide.
  • Made investments in key markets to further strengthen Deloitte’s global network of offices and technology delivery centers to evolve how it serves its most important global and local Consulting clients.
  • Adopting the ValueD, iDeal, D3 Discovery and Financial Crime Analytics platforms across the Financial Advisory business to support clients with new levels of insight and experience in order to help them solve complex business problems.
  • Enhanced Tax & Legal client connectivity through the introduction of innovative technology-enabled solutions across all service areas through a new digital relationship platform.
  • Expanded Tax & Legal’s ecosystem through six joint ventures with automation, cognitive, and blockchain companies. Business Process Solutions (BPS) has formed five strategic agreements with robotic process automation (RPA) vendors and created an RPA Center of Excellence. Deloitte has a collaboration with The Bakery Worldwide Ltd. to connect business and clients with thousands of entrepreneur tech start-ups.

Building tomorrow’s workforce, today

In FY2017, Deloitte increased its workforce in all geographic regions and businesses, with nearly 70,000 new professionals, an increase of 8 percent from FY2016 – the equivalent of 1 person hired every 8 minutes. Headcount growth was led by Asia Pacific among the regions at 10.4 percent, and by Consulting and Risk Advisory among the businesses, each with growth over 13 percent.

Also in FY2017, Deloitte advanced a number of initiatives designed to support the career development and personal well-being of its professionals, including:

  • Opened the doors to its fifth and sixth Deloitte University (DU) locations – Deloitte University North (Toronto, Canada) and Deloitte University Asia Pacific (Singapore). In FY2017, 65,000 Deloitte professionals participated in leadership development programs at Deloitte University.
  • Expanded family leave policies across the network to help its professionals balance their personal and professional lives, understanding the evolving dynamics of caregiving and diverse needs of families. Deloitte is dedicated to providing market-leading family leave policies across the world. Examples of this include Deloitte UK’s Shared Parental Leave, which gives eligible parents the option to share a period of their maternity or adoption leave with their partner. And, Deloitte US expanded its paid family leave policy and now offers up to 16 weeks of fully paid extended family leave to eligible male and female employees to support a range of life events impacting their families – from celebrating the arrival of a new child, to caring for a spouse, partner, sibling or aging parent.
  • Launched a new strengths based performance management experience that focuses on further developing strengths (areas where team members feel creative, innovative and insightful) through on-going feedback and development that drives both individuals and teams.
  • As Deloitte continues to grow, it places a strong focus on creating and supporting a culture of inclusion. An inclusive and diverse work environment not only reflects the world in which we live, it creates a culture that intentionally invites and engages unique perspectives and experiences, resulting in improved business outcomes and stronger services for diverse clients, better attraction and retention of top talent, and a positive societal impact.

“Deloitte professionals represent the workforce of the future: top talent with different life experiences, viewpoints and skill sets,” said Renjen. “In creating an inclusive, collaborative, purpose-led culture, we inspire our people to make an impact that matters for each other, our highly diverse and sophisticated client base, and society.”

In 2017, the Deloitte network continued to be recognized as a top employer globally through awards such as LinkedIn’s Top Employers, The Times Top 50 Employers for Women, and Universum’s ‘World’s Most Attractive Employer’ award among others.  

A WorldClass solution for social impact 

Deloitte recognizes that the greatest challenge to global economic growth, prosperity and social progress is lack of access to the fundamental building blocks of personal and professional success.

This year, to help address this challenge, Deloitte is intensifying its efforts to help expand access to career-building opportunities for communities and individuals left behind in the transformation to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“WorldClass” is a new global effort designed to apply Deloitte’s skills, experience, scale, and commitment to preparing and empowering people to take advantage of the new world economy through access to education and training.

“Millions of people are not sufficiently prepared for the requirements of the new world economy,” said Renjen. “There are already incredible efforts underway around the globe by Deloitte professionals to support education and skills development. WorldClass builds on their work helping create pathways for individuals to fulfill their personal and professional aspirations.”

WorldClass builds upon the success of One Million Futures in the U.K., UNLEASH in Denmark, an initiative to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and Impact Day, a volunteering day which takes place across the world, among other initiatives. In FY2017, Deloitte professionals spent more than 1.2 million hours on pro bono service and volunteering in their communities, with more than one third focusing on education and skills building. Deloitte’s overall contributions toward societal and community causes are estimated to be over US$200M. 

Notes:

  • All growth rates presented in this press release are in local currency terms unless otherwise specified.

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Sterling rises above $1.37 for first time since 2018; UK inflation rises

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Sterling rises above $1.37 for first time since 2018; UK inflation rises 1

By Elizabeth Howcroft

LONDON (Reuters) – A combination of heightened risk appetite in global markets and UK-specific optimism lifted the pound on Wednesday, as it strengthened to its highest in nearly three years against the dollar and five-month highs against the euro.

The dollar weakened against major currencies for the third straight session, helped by U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s urging lawmakers to “act big” on spending and worry about debt later.

The pound rose above $1.37, hitting $1.3720 — its highest since May 2018 — at 1045 GMT. By 1136 GMT it had eased some gains and changed hands at $1.3687, up 0.4% on the day and up 0.2% so far this year.

Versus the euro, the pound hit a five-month high of 88.38 pence per euro, before easing to 88.51 at 1137 GMT, up around 0.5% on the day.

The pound’s recent strengthening can be attributed in part to relief among investors that the impact of Brexit has not caused the chaos some feared, as well as a lessening of negative rates expectations, said Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho.

“Going into early 2021, there was a bearish sentiment building into the pound on the Brexit deal, in terms of maybe it had a limited reach, and then secondly an expectation of negative rates and so to some extent the market has been cutting down on sterling shorts because neither of those things have been quite so apparent as they were,” he said.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said last week that there were “lots of issues” with cutting interest rates below zero – a comment which caused sterling to jump.

The UK’s progress in rolling out vaccines is also seen as a positive for investors, Jones said.

Currently, the United Kingdom has vaccinated 4.27 million people with a first dose of the vaccine, among the best in the world per head of population.

“Further progress in vaccinations (a pick-up in the daily rate) by the time the BoE MPC meeting takes place on 4th February may prove enough to hold off on any additional monetary easing,” wrote Derek Halpenny, head of research for global markets at MUFG.

Inflation data for December showed that prices in the UK picked up by more than expected in December, to a 0.6% annual rate.0.6

Inflation has been below the Bank of England’s 2% target since mid-2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it close to zero as the economy tanked.

(Graphic: CFTC: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/oakpeyayxpr/CFTC.png)

(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft, editing by Larry King)

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Euro sinks amid broader risk rally against dollar

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Euro sinks amid broader risk rally against dollar 2

By Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON (Reuters) – The euro struggled to join a broader risk rally against the dollar on Wednesday as analysts said the risk of extended lockdowns in Europe to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the continent’s lag in a vaccine rollout were weighing on the currency.

Down 0.1% against the dollar at $1.2117 by 1130 GMT, Europe’s shared currency had only the safe-haven Swiss franc and Sweden’s crown for company in resisting a broad rally against the greenback by the G-10 group of currencies.

“We’re getting more headlines that the current lockdowns will be extended further, which could mean that the euro zone would be flirting with a double-dip recession before long,” said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX research at Credit Agricole, noting Europe’s lag in rolling out a coronavirus vaccine compared to the United States and Britain.

“So all of that plays into the story that tomorrow’s ECB meeting, while uneventful in terms of policy announcements, could convey a relatively dovish message to the market. On top of that, President Lagarde could once again jawbone the euro, so the euro is kind of lagging behind.”

Marinov also noted price action in the pound, which hit $1.3720 – a 2-1/2-year high – and 88.38 pence – its highest since May 2020 against the euro – as a contributing factor to euro weakness. [GBP/]

There was also focus on a story by Bloomberg News, which reported the European Central Bank was conducting its bond purchases with specific yield spreads in mind, a strategy that would be reminiscent of yield curve control.

Elsewhere, the risk-sensitive Australian dollar gained 0.4% to $0.7727. The New Zealand dollar, also a commodity currency like the Aussie, gained 0.25% to $0.7133.

DOLLAR WEAKNESS

While the world will be watching Joe Biden’s inauguration as U.S. president at noon in Washington (1700 GMT), traders were more focused on his policies than the ceremony.

U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen urged lawmakers at her confirmation hearing to “act big” on stimulus spending and said she believes in market-determined exchange rates, without expressing a view on the dollar’s direction.

The index that measures the dollar’s strength against a basket of peers was up almost 0.1% at 90.510. The euro forms nearly 60% of the dollar index by weight.

It also fell 0.1% against the Japanese yen to 103.81 yen per dollar.

While the dollar has perked up in recent weeks on the back of a rise in U.S. Treasury yields, investors still expect the currency to weaken.

“We remain bearish U.S. dollar, and expect the downtrend to resume as U.S. real yields top out,” said Ebrahim Rahbari, FX strategist at CitiFX.

“Continued Fed dovishness remains important for our view, in addition to global recovery, so we’ll watch upcoming Fed-speak closely.”

Positioning data shows investors are overwhelmingly short dollars as they figure that budget and current account deficits will weigh on the greenback.

(Graphic: Dollar positioning: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/oakveyombvr/Pasted%20image%201611132945366.png)

UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment officer Mark Haefele reiterated a bearish view on the dollar, saying that pro-cyclical currencies such as the euro, commodity-producer currencies, and the pound would benefit “from a broadening economic recovery supported by vaccine rollouts”.

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin fell 4%, trading at $34,468.

(Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry

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England soccer star Rashford nets younger buyers for Burberry 3

By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Burberry stuck to its full-year goals on Wednesday after a media campaign fronted by high-profile English soccer star and social justice advocate Marcus Rashford drew a younger clientele to the British luxury brand.

Higher full-price sales would boost annual margins and Asian demand remained strong, Burberry said, while warning that it could suffer more sales disruption from COVID-19 lockdowns.

Manchester United striker Rashford, 23, has won plaudits for his campaign to help ensure that poorer children do not go hungry with schools closed during the pandemic.

A first coronavirus wave last year cut Burberry’s sales by as much as 45% before a bounce back on strong demand in mainland China and South Korea, which continued in the last few months.

Shares in Burberry were up 5% to 1,825 pence at 0905 GMT, with Citi analysts saying that improved sales quality from fewer markdowns would drive full-year consensus upgrades.

Burberry’s 9% sales decline in its third quarter was worse than the 6% fall in the second, and the company said that 15% of stores were currently closed and 36% operating with restrictions as a result of measures to curb COVID-19’s spread.

“We expect trading will remain susceptible to regional disruptions as we close the financial year,” Burberry said, adding that it was confident of rebounding when the pandemic eases given the brand’s resonance with customers.

In the third quarter, comparable store sales in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa declined 37%, hit by shops shut in lockdowns and a lack of tourists visiting Europe, but in the same period, it posted sales growth of 11% in Asia Pacific.

Burberry said that Britain’s new relationship with the European Union would cause headwinds, warning of a modest increase in costs to comply with new rules and also the impact of an end to a scheme for VAT refunds for non-EU tourists.

This would make Britain a less attractive destination for luxury shopping when tourism returns after the pandemic, Burberry said, adding that it would try to mitigate the effect.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton, James Davey and Alexander Smith)

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