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SHAREHOLDER LETTER


From Our
Chairman & CEO

DELIVERING IN FISCAL 2015

Accenture’s excellent fiscal 2015 financial results reflect the successful execution of our strategy across the dimensions of our business and the investments we are making in new, high-growth areas. 

We delivered on our initial business outlook for the year, with particularly strong revenue growth that significantly outpaced the market. We generated strong new bookings, grew earnings per share faster than revenues and delivered strong free cash flow—enabling us to return substantial cash to shareholders while continuing to make significant investments in our business. Here are some highlights:



Our outstanding performance in fiscal 2015 was broad-based across the business, with double-digit revenue growth in four of our five operating groups and all three geographic regions. I was particularly pleased with our 13 percent growth in the United States, where we have now achieved double-digit growth in four of the last five years. The diversity of our business—from an industry, capability and geographic perspective—creates resilience and durability, and is especially important at a time when the global economic environment remains volatile and uncertain.
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"Accenture's excellent fiscal 2015 financial results reflect the successful execution of our strategy across the dimensions of our business and the investments we are making in new, high-growth areas."
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With our continued strong growth, combined with our focus on returning cash to shareholders, we delivered significant shareholder value in fiscal 2015—a 19 percent total return (including dividends) for the year ended August 31, compared with zero percent for the S&P 500 Index. For the last five fiscal years, our compound annual total return to shareholders has been 24 percent, eight percentage points above the S&P 500.

LEADING IN THE "NEW"


The market environment today is defined by change, and we are clearly operating in the midst of a technology revolution that is touching virtually every client in every industry around the world. Our clients are facing massive disruption in their businesses, and their agendas have pivoted rapidly to digital. Our goal is to enable our clients to be the digital disruptors—not the disrupted.  

To do that, we are positioning Accenture to lead in what we are calling the “new,” which is the combination of digital-, cloud- and security-related services—all enabled by new and innovative technology. In each of these areas, we have made significant investments, ahead of the curve, to take a first-mover position and scale our capabilities at speed. 

Over the last three years, we have invested about $2.5 billion in acquisitions, including approximately $850 million in fiscal 2015, to further differentiate Accenture in the marketplace. And nearly 70 percent of the capital we invested in fiscal 2015 was in digital, cloud or security services. Key examples include Agilex Technologies to enhance our capabilities in analytics, cloud and mobility for US federal agencies; PacificLink to expand our digital marketing and eCommerce capabilities in Greater China and the Asia Pacific region; and
FusionX, a leader in cyber security, to enhance our ability to help clients protect against, detect and respond to sophisticated cyber attacks. In addition, the recent acquisition of Cloud Sherpas will further strengthen our position in enterprise cloud services.

Executing Our Strategy

To ensure that we are even more relevant to our clients in this rapidly changing digital world, we are executing our strategy at speed and at scale to take leadership positions in our five businesses—Accenture Strategy, Accenture Consulting, Accenture Digital, Accenture Technology and Accenture Operations. Each is highly competitive in its own right and synergistic in delivering end-to-end solutions for our clients:


Looking across our entire business, only Accenture has the ability to integrate and deliver this full spectrum of end-to-end capabilities at scale, in an industry context, to drive mission-critical outcomes for our clients. 

That is why we remain the partner of choice for so many of the world’s leading companies and largest government agencies. We serve more than 80 percent of the FORTUNE Global 500 and 94 of the top 100. We also continue to build strong and enduring client relationships. All of our top 100 clients have been clients for at least five years, and 97 have been clients for at least 10 years.

Quite simply, our client relationships are second to none, and our continued success underscores our ability to address our clients’ most complex and strategic issues.

For example, we helped Mondelez International, the food and beverage company, establish a zero-based budgeting system, new global operating model and supporting global business services. The improved visibility into spending, new budgeting processes, accountability for cost management and change management program are expected to deliver $1 billion in savings over three years that can be reinvested in growth initiatives.

We are helping Rio Tinto, the global mining company, accelerate its journey to become a digital business by migrating its enterprise IT systems to an “as-a-service” solution on the Accenture Cloud Platform. Rio Tinto expects to realize significant cost savings as well as increased agility from our consumption-based pricing model to help it better navigate commodity cycles.

And we are working with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, to build a “connected ship” by leveraging the Internet of Things. We are using more than 1,000 different kinds of sensors to collect information such as ocean current, weather and location data as well as equipment status—and then applying analytics to provide insights that drive real-time decisions to improve operations.

Investing in our people and our communities

Accenture is a talent-led organization, and investing in our people remains one of our highest priorities.

Attracting, developing and inspiring the very best talent in our industry is critical to meeting the evolving needs of our clients and growing our business. We were very pleased to be recognized for the seventh consecutive year as one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

We are deeply committed to the career development of our more than 358,000 employees. In fiscal 2015, we invested $841 million in training and professional development—leveraging the latest digital technologies, including virtual classrooms, to deliver highly relevant training to our people at the point of need.

At Accenture, we have a very strong commitment to inclusion and diversity that is rooted in our culture and core values. We offer an inclusive environment in terms of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability. Our rich diversity makes Accenture stronger, smarter and more innovative.

We empower all of our people to lead, including the more than 130,000 women of Accenture. Gender diversity and equality are essential for a high-performing organization, and we have sharpened our focus on attracting, inspiring and advancing women, which is critical to our future. Women currently make up 36 percent of our global workforce, and by the end of fiscal 2017, we will grow the percentage of women new hires to at least 40 percent worldwide.

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"Attracting, developing and inspiring the very best talent in our industry is critical to meeting the evolving needs of our clients and growing our business."
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By investing in our people, we are better able to serve the needs of our clients and our communities—and achieve our vision of improving the way the world works and lives.


Through our
Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, we have equipped more than 800,000 people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business—more than three times the impact we set out to achieve. Together with our strategic partners, we will expand this figure to more than 3 million people by the end of fiscal 2020; sharpen our focus on the transition from skill-building programs to sustainable jobs and businesses; and bring together organizations across sectors to create large-scale, lasting solutions aimed at closing global employment gaps.

We are also committed to reducing the environmental impacts—including carbon, waste and water—from our offices and operations and to fostering sustainable growth among all our stakeholders. By the end of fiscal 2020, we will reduce our carbon emissions to an average of two metric tons per employee—representing a more than 50 percent reduction from our 2007 baseline—and we will begin to measure and report the impact of our work with clients and suppliers in key areas of sustainability. In 2015, we were included for the 11th consecutive year in both the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and the FTSE4Good Global Index, and were also included in the new S&P Environmental & Socially Responsible Index.

In closing, I want to extend my sincere thanks to the men and women of Accenture for their tremendous commitment and passion for delivering value for our clients and our company. We created very strong momentum in our business in fiscal 2015, positioning us very well for continued growth and market leadership. With the highly relevant and differentiated capabilities we have built—along with the continued disciplined management of our business—I am confident in our ability to continue driving sustainable, profitable growth.



Pierre Nanterme
Chairman & CEO
October 30, 2015

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