NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ernst & Young ERNY.UL, the world’s third-largest accounting and consulting firm, said its global revenues rose 7.6 percent in fiscal year 2011 as investments in emerging markets bore fruit.
Helped by over 20 percent growth in markets such as Brazil and India, revenues rose to $22.88 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30 2011, up from $21.26 billion in 2010.
A $1.5 billion investment program launched five years ago, the bulk of it earmarked for emerging markets, was a key driver of the results, Ernst & Young said in a statement.
Revenues in Brazil grew 26 percent, while India’s rose 22 percent, Africa’s rose 19 percent and China’s climbed 18 percent, Ernst & Young said.
Global head count rose by nearly 11,000 to an all-time high of 152,000.
Ernst & Young is one of the “Big Four” audit firms, ranking behind PwC PWC.UL and Deloitte DLTE.UL and ahead of KPMG KPMG.UL in global revenues.
Like its rivals, Ernst & Young has taken advantage of resurgent demand for consulting and advisory work as revenues from traditional audits leveled off.
Advisory and consulting revenues at Ernst & Young rose 17.5 percent in fiscal 2011 to $4.3 billion, while audit and related services rose 5 percent to $10.6 billion. Revenues from tax services rose 6 percent to $6.0 billion and transaction advisory services revenue rose 7.7 percent to $2.0 billion.
The fast-growing consulting businesses of the Big Four have raised eyebrows among some European Union authorities, who are considering curbs on non-audit services to prevent potential conflicts of interest.
A draft European Union law that was leaked last week called for sharp restrictions on non-audit work.
Reporting by Dena Aubin