TCS Q3 net profit rises to Rs 5,333 cr; raises hiring target
Mumbai: Country's largest IT exporter TCS on Thursday posted a stellar 50.3 percent jump in December quarter net profit at Rs 5,333 crore, aided by all-round business growth and a one-time forex gain, while sounding confident of a stronger performance next fiscal.
It had reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 3,550 crore in the third quarter a year ago.
TCS logged a 32.5 percent rise in October-December 2013 period revenues at Rs 21,294 crore on the back of good traction in life sciences and manufacturing sectors, among others, while improved business in Europe also boosted growth.
The Tata group firm revised its total hiring target for FY14 upwards by 10 percent. It will end the fiscal with gross hiring of 55,000 people against targeted 50,000. It, however, maintained FY15 guidance of hiring 25,000 campus graduates.
The company's Board of Directors has declared an interim dividend of Rs 4 per equity share of Rs 1 each (face value).
Describing the quarter as a "very good one", TCS Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director N Chandrasekaran said: "Strong international demand for our services and discipline in execution has helped TCS maintain its momentum and post robust growth in volumes as well as realisation."
TCS Chief Financial Officer Rajesh Gopinathan said there was a swing of up to Rs 700 crore arising out of the forex gains, on back of gains of Rs 299 crore during the reporting quarter and a loss of Rs 377 crore in the year ago period.
Chandrasekaran said all the geographies performed well except the domestic market which degrew by 9 percent on a sequential basis. On the product lines front, asset leverage solutions was the laggard.
He added the company does not expect the domestic market to turnaround before the September 2014 quarter because of the general elections and stressed that he is accounting for that in the optimistic expectations for FY15.
"Initial indications for next fiscal year are very bright. We believe that FY15 is going to be a much stronger year than the current year. We are very positive," he said.
He also described margins above their estimate of 27 percent. International business grew by 3.8 percent in dollar terms, he said, adding that attrition stood at 10.9 percent during the quarter. Utlisation rate, excluding the trainees, touched all time high of 84.3 percent.
Cash and investments book grew by Rs 3,750 crore to Rs 18,850 crore as of end December 31, 2013.
Chandrasekaran said TCS continues to scout for potential acquisition targets and added that Japan, Germany, rest of Europe and the US can be the target geographies.
Analysts termed the numbers as on expected lines, which was visible from the stock performance, which in the run-up to the announcement, which was made after the market hours, was little changed at Rs 2,351.35 down 0.12 per cent on the BSE.
"The numbers are in line with our expectations. The 2.9 percent volume growth in international business is encouraging. The management is pretty confident of FY15 growth rates being better than FY14," Dipen Shah of Kotak Securities said in a note.
Operating profit during December 2013 quarter rose to Rs 6,335 crore, a growth of 44.6 percent year-on-year and 0.1 percent q-o-q, Chandrasekaran said.
The CEO & MD said the company added two USD 50-million plus clients in the quarter while the overall large clients rose by 8 and that of USD 20-million plus clients rose by 4.
In US dollar terms, TCS' net profit rose by 31.7 percent to USD 858 million in reporting quarter against USD 652 million in th same period previous fiscal.
Revenues were up by 17 percent to USD 3.44 billion against USD 2.95 billion during the same period a year ago.
Sequentially in dollar terms, net profit rose by 14.7 percent and revenues were up by 3 percent.
Shah of Kotak Securities said: "We believe consistent high volume growth being reported by TCS reflects effective demand generation initiatives and efficient execution.
"The increase in employee addition target for FY14 as well as the likelihood of revising higher the FY15 employee targets reflect the extent of revenue visibility the company has," he added.
After beating estimates this quarter on margins front, Chandrasekaran hinted that it will exceed its guidance of 27 percent in the next quarter.
He said the overall margins were 30.9 percent for the quarter, but company's investment in sales and the recent rupee appreciation shaved off some gains.
Gopinathan refused to share the levels at which the company is hedging against the rupee, saying it continues to pursue a policy of hedging for two quarters ahead.
Chandrasekaran said the company is extremely bullish on the Americas, digital space and the banking and financial services space in the coming time.