Bangalore: Infosys Technologies Ltd, India`s No. 2 software services exporter, lagged market estimates with a surprise 2.6 percent drop in quarterly profit as the European debt crisis and salary increases took shine off improving US demand.
The Nasdaq-listed firm said on Tuesday net profit in its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 fell to 14.9 billion rupees ($318 million).
A poll of brokerages had forecast a profit of 15.56 billion rupees for Infosys, which counts Goldman Sachs, BT Group and BP among its main clients.
Infosys, larger rival Tata Consultancy Services and third-ranked Wipro have all stepped up hiring and raised salaries as demand for outsourcing grows in an improving global economy.
But a debt crisis in Europe, the second-largest market for Indian outsourcers after the United States, has clouded the demand outlook from the continent, while a weaker euro crimps margins for the export-driven companies.
Infosys shares, valued at about $35 billion, hit a record high on Monday and are up 11 percent this year, outpacing the 7 percent rise in the sector index.