The survey divides the industry into three clusters: those predicting a good year, those predicting a difficult year and those expecting next year to be the same as 2003.
Some 41% of consultancies are anticipating a buoyant market in 2004. Sales in these businesses are forecast to grow at 10%, and margins could be as a high
However, a further 33% of companies are planning to spend 2004 tackling internal problems. Their sales are more likely to be flat, but margins could reach the industry average of 4.3%.
At the bottom of the pile come 25% of consultancies which expect to carry forward their financial difficulties into 2004. Many of these companies have been losing money, and their immediate concern is to rectify this situation. Their sales could drop by as much as 10%.