Infosys Q4 net rises 2.4% to Rs 36.9 bn, looks to sell Panaya by March 2019

File photo of Infosys CEO Salil Parekh 

Infosys Ltd, India's second-biggest software services exporter, posted a 2.4% rise in its fourth-quarter net profit, roughly in line with analysts' estimates.

Net profit rose to Rs 36.90 billion in the three months ended March 31, from Rs 36.03 billion in the same period a year earlier, the company said on Friday. In quarterly terms, the company posted 28% decline in net profit when compared to Rs 51.29 billion posted in December quarter.

Eighteen analysts had on average expected Infosys to post a net profit of Rs 37.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data, in the first full quarter since Salil Parekh took over as chief executive.

Revenues of the Bengaluru-based firm grew 5.6% to Rs 180.83 billion in the January-March quarter compared with Rs 171.20 billion in the year-ago period.

Infosys said it expects revenue for 2018-19 to grow in the range of 6-8% in constant currency terms and 7-9% in US dollar terms. The forecast for full-year revenue growth was slightly below brokerage firm Macquarie's 6.5-8.5% forecast.

Parekh joined Infosys in January with the task of restoring growth and ensuring peace between Infosys founders and the board after an acrimonious spat last year.

The company has initiated identification and evaluation of potential buyers for Kallidus, Skava and Panaya units, all bought under the regime of former CEO Vishal Sikka. The company anticipates completion of their sale by March 2019.

"Accordingly, assets amounting to Rs 20.60 billion ($316 million) and liabilities amounting to Rs 3.24 billion ($50 million) in respect of the disposal group have been reclassified and presented as 'held for sale'," Infosys said.

Infosys said upon reclassification, an impairment loss of Rs 1.18 billion ($18 million) in respect of Panaya has been recognised in the consolidated profit and loss for the quarter and year ended March 31, 2018.

The corresponding write-down in the investment value of Panaya in the standalone financial statements of Infosys is Rs 5.89 billion ($90 million), it added.

A whistleblower report last year alleged wrongdoings by Infosys and some officials in the $200 million acquisition of Israeli automation technology firm Panaya.

An internal audit committee set up by Infosys found no evidence supporting the whistleblower's allegations.

However, Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy had demanded that the full report by Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher on these whistleblower allegations be made public.

Later in October, the Infosys board -- under its new chairman Nandan Nilekani -- gave a clean chit to the controversial Panaya acquisition, saying there was no merit in the allegations of wrongdoing.

For the full fiscal 2017-18, profit was up 11.7% at Rs 160.29 billion, while revenues grew 3% to Rs 705.22 billion over the previous year.

"I am pleased with our healthy revenue growth, profitability, and cash generation in Q4. Our robust performance is a reflection of the strong impact we have with our clients and the dedication of our employees," Parekh said.

He added that the company will execute its strategy around the four pillars -- scaling digital business ($2.79 billion in revenue currently), energising client's core technology landscape via AI and automation, re-skilling employees, and expanding localisation in markets like US, Europe, and Australia.

Infosys COO Pravin Rao said the company will be rolling out compensation increases for a large part of its workforce, effective April 1.

The Infosys Board in its meeting today decided to retain the current policy of returning up to 70% of the free cash flow of the corresponding financial year.

"In addition to the above, out of the cash on the Balance Sheet, the Board has identified an amount of up to Rs 130 billion to be paid to shareholders," it added.

This will be done through a special dividend of Rs 10 per share (resulting in a payout of about Rs 26 billion in June 2018). Also, an amount of up to Rs 104 billion has been identified to be paid out to shareholders for the Financial Year 2019 in a manner to be decided by the Board. 

The company expects spending from North American clients to come back later this year.

 


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