Infosys to grow in double digit on robust growth (Roundup)

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Bengaluru, April 15 (IANS) Buoyed by robust growth of over nine percent in 2015-16, global software major Infosys Ltd on Friday projected higher revenue growth of 12.8 percent (average) in dollar terms for 2016-17, as 97 percent of its earnings are from exports worldwide.

“Our consolidated annual revenue outlook for 2016-17 is 11.8-13.8 percent (12.8 percent average) growth in dollar terms on the exchange rate of March 2016 and 11.5-13.5 percent in constant currency,” it said in a statement here.

In rupee terms, revenue growth for this fiscal is, however, projected to be lower at 12.7-14.7 percent on March exchange rate of Rs.66.26 per dollar, as against 17 percent growth achieved in fiscal 2016.

“Our guidance is based on visibility, adoption of innovation and clients embracing digital technologies. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will enable us to deliver faster and more for less, as pricing and billing rates have been steadily coming down,” Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka told reporters here.

He, however, hinted at revisiting the revenue guidance based on new wins or deals and growth prospects, as automation and innovation had started showing results in the organic growth of client relationships and our win rates in large deals.

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“As digital technologies reshape the world, our endeavour will be to create more value for every business through solutions built on AI technology, open and cloud platforms,” Sikka said.

The firm reported Rs.3,597 crore consolidated net profit for fourth quarter of the fiscal under review, registering 16.2 percent year-on-year growth and 3.8 percent quarterly in rupee terms.

In a regulatory filing to the stock exchange BSE during the day, the company reported that its consolidated revenue grew 23.4 percent over last year and 4.1 percent quarterly to Rs.16,550 crore in the quarter under review.

“Our growth trajectory improved in FY 2016 and we navigated the external business environment well. We will focus on leveraging operational efficiency levers for profitable growth,” said chief financial officer M.D. Ranganath.

Under the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), net profit was up 7 percent over last year and 1.7 percent quarterly to $533 million while revenue increased 13.3 percent over last year and 1.6 percent quarterly to $2,446 million ($2.5 billion).

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For 2015-16, consolidated net profit grew 9.4 percent to Rs.13,491 crore and consolidated revenue 17.1 percent to Rs.62,441 crore in rupee terms.

Under IFRS, net income was up 1.9 percent to $2,052 million and revenue increased 9.1 percent to $9,501 million.

The company and its subsidiaries worldwide added 89 clients in fourth quarter and 325 in the fiscal, taking their total number to 1,092 from 950 year ago.

The company also declared a final dividend of Rs.14.25 per share of Rs.5 at par or a whopping 285 percent for fiscal under review.

With an interim dividend of Rs.10 per share or 200 percent for each share of Rs.5 at par for first six months, the total dividend for fiscal under review is Rs.24.25 per share or a whopping 485 percent.

On US hiking visa fee for Indian IT firms sending its engineers for working at their clients’ locations and onshore facilities, Sikka said the Indian IT industry had been too much dependent on visas and had to become visa independent by increasing automation, AI and offsite work.

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“Taking advantage of technology advances like virtual reality and collaborative work, it is possible to become visa independent. We will also ramp up local hiring and train them to work onsite or at client facility,” he added.

Cash and securities were up Rs.34,468 crore ($5.2 billion) by fiscal-end from Rs. 31,526 crore ($4.8 billion) quarter ago and Rs. 32,585 crore ($5.2 billion) year ago.

“During the quarter, cash generation was strong. We managed a volatile currency environment effectively,” Ranganath said.

The company made 20,000 campus offers for hiring freshers from colleges and institutes across the country to ramp up its headcount in this fiscal

“We have made 20,000 campus offerings by conducting interviews at various institutes to hire freshers for this fiscal (FY 2017) and ramp up our headcount,” chief operating officer (COO) U.B. Pravin Rao said at the news conference.

Though the company made a gross addition of 9,034 people in fourth quarter including 5,266 laterals, net addition was only 661, as 8,373 people left, taking the total headcount to 194,044 by fiscal-end, as against 193,383 quarter ago and 176,187 year ago.

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