* Top engineer's Q4 net 27.23 bln rupees, beats analyst view
* Executive Chairman sees domestic upturn after Modi
* Sees 15 pct revenue growth in 2015
* Company plans IPO of two units in 2016
By Aman Shah and Tommy Wilkes
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, May 30 Larsen & Toubro Ltd
(L&T), India's biggest engineer, said on Friday it
expected a gradual recovery in domestic demand this year, aided
by government efforts to fast-track stalled projects that will
help its new orders grow by a fifth.
Seen as a bellwether of the Indian economy, the firm has
spent the past few quarters bolstering its business of building
roads, trains, ships and power plant equipment by expanding
overseas to offset weaker demand at home.
India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in
elections earlier this month promising to address an economic
slowdown and a big backlog in infrastructure projects that
stalled because of bureaucratic hurdles.
L&T's executive chairman said on Friday that he saw
improvements in India's economy coming "sooner than what I had
earlier thought", and predicted growth of 5.5 percent in the
current fiscal year from below the current sub-5 percent.
"There is an all-round change in the mood and the
atmosphere. I hope that the government lives up to what is
expected by everyone," A.M. Naik told a media briefing.
But he cautioned about optimism for a dramatic turnaround.
The impact of the government's pledge to speed up projects
would not be seen until at least August or September, and
overseas orders would provide much of an expected 15 percent
rise in revenues this year, he said.
L&T's order book - a third of which comprises international
business - grew 13 percent year on year in the fourth quarter.
L&T outstripped analyst forecasts with a 69 percent rise in
fourth-quarter profit, thanks to a steep gain in revenue from
its infrastructure and heavy engineering businesses, and a gain
from a divestment.
Net profit from continuing operations reached 27.23 billion
rupees ($461 million) in January-March from 16.1 billion rupees
a year earlier, L&T said in a statement. Gross revenue rose 11
The profit result compared with the 16.15 billion rupees
mean of 15 analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The company will start the process of listing two of the
company's units - L&T Infotech and L&T Technology Services - in
July 2016, Naik said.
Naik said L&T was well positioned to take advantage of the
new government's proposal to open the defense sector to private
companies, especially in shipbuilding, field guns, missile
launchers and defense electronics.
Shares of L&T, which have jumped almost 50 percent this year
on hopes of post-election economic reform, closed 0.27 percent
lower ahead of the release, compared with a flat benchmark index
($1 = 59.0150 Indian Rupees)
(Editing by Christopher Cushing and John Stonestreet)