REUTERS: Accenture Plc reported a better-than-expected jump in quarterly revenue, helped by strong growth in its consulting business, particularly in North America.
The company also raised its 2016 net revenue growth forecast to 6-9 percent from 5-8 percent in local currency.
Consulting net revenue for the first quarter ended Nov. 30 was US$4.35 billion, an increase of 6 percent in U.S. dollars and 15 percent in local currency.
The business accounts for just over half of Accenture's revenue, with its outsourcing unit contributing the rest.
The company's revenue from North America, which accounted for about 47 pct of total revenue in the quarter, rose 9 percent to US$3.76 billion. In local currency, the rise was 11 percent.
Accenture has been investing heavily to boost its digital business, which offers analytics, content management, social media and cloud services.
It has also announced it would increase investments in research and development efforts in artificial intelligence.
Net income fell to US$858.5 million, or US$1.28 per share, in the first quarter from US$882.2 million, or US$1.29 per share, a year earlier.
Net revenue, or revenue before reimbursements, rose to US$8.01 billion from US$7.90 billion.
Analysts on average expected the company to earn US$1.32 per share on revenue of US$7.92 billion.
Up to Wednesday's close of US$109.08, the stock had risen about 22 percent this year.
(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar and Lehar Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)