TCS Q4 profit meets forecast, outlook upbeat

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 23, 2012 14:56 hrs

Tata Consultancy Services, India's top software services exporter, posted a 23 percent rise in March-quarter profit and gave a relatively upbeat outlook, a sign it may be better positioned than rival Infosys Ltd in a fragile global economy.

The company, part of the Tata Group salt-to-steel conglomerate, reported profit of 29.3 billion rupees, meeting expectations, based on international accounting standards, while revenue rose 30.5 percent from a year earlier to 132.6 billion rupees.

TCS also said it is raising wages for workers in India by 8 percent. Infosys, by comparison, said it was freezing wages.

"The order book is very healthy. We don't give numbers, it continues to see improvement," Chief Executive Officer N Chandrasekaran told reporters.

He said TCS is on track to exceed the 11-14 percent sector revenue growth target set by industry body Nasscom.

Analysts had forecast a net profit of 29.03 billion rupees for the company, whose customers include Citigroup Inc and BP Plc , on revenue of 132.57 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

TCS and No 2 ranked rival Infosys Ltd are part of India's $100 billion-a-year information technology and back-office services sector that earns about 70 percent of its revenue from exports to the United States and Europe.

Infosys, once seen as the industry bellwether, is losing its sheen after delivering two consecutive quarters of disappointing forecasts.

Fourth-ranked HCL Technologies Ltd last week reported March-quarter profit that beat expectations, while Accenture Plc has said it sees increasing demand across all geographies in technology outsourcing.

Wipro Ltd , India's No 3 IT services exporter, is expected to report that March-quarter profit rose 9.5 percent to about 15 billion rupees on Wednesday.

TCS shares, which have a market value of $41 billion, closed down 2.2 percent ahead of the results, while the main index fell 1.6 percent.

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