By Dagmarah Mackos

(Reuters) -French IT consulting firm Capgemini said it expects results at the top end of guidance this year driven by its cloud, data and artificial intelligence businesses, but cautioned that demand would slow in 2023.

“The group expects demand to decelerate a bit in the coming quarters, but it remains confident that 2023 will be a year of growth, even if not probably not as strong as in 2022,” Chief Executive Aiman Ezzat said on a media call.

His comments come amid growing fears that an economic slowdown could dent IT budgets after gloomy results from tech giants Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp.

The company has forecast revenue growth in 2022 of between 14% and 15% on a constant currency basis and an operating margin of 12.9% to 13.1%.

Capgemini reported third-quarter revenue of 5.55 billion euros ($15.8 billion), up 15.7% from the same period a year earlier at constant exchange rates. Bookings in the quarter rose 13% to 5.43 billion euros.

Its expanded its workforce 16% year on year, reaching headcount of 358,400 at the end of September.

The high demand for IT specialists due to a shortage of available workers has forced many companies to increase wages to attract new talent in a competitive market.

($1 = 0.9936 euros)

(Reporting by Dagmarah Mackos; Editing by Josephine Mason and Edwina Gibbs)