* Q3 net profit 28.75 bln rupees vs estimate 27.15 bln
* Raises FY revenue growth forecast as expected
* Net headcount drops 1,823 in Dec-quarter
* Shares rise as much as 3.6 pct
By Soham Chatterjee
MYSORE, India, Jan 10 India's Infosys Ltd
is chasing more big-ticket contracts from Europe and
the United States this year and keeping a lid on costs as the
outsourcing services giant powers ahead with a turnaround to
regain market share.
India's second largest software services exporter raised on
Friday its revenue growth outlook for the 2013/14 financial year
to between 11.5 and 12 percent from a previously forecast 9-10
percent, citing higher demand for its services.
It reported its first decrease in its workforce in nearly
five years, with overall attrition rates in the December quarter
rising to 18.1 percent from 15.1 percent a year ago.
"While the organisation is going through transformation,
there may be some minor disruptions," Chief Executive SD
Shibulal told an analysts' briefing after announcing the
"But as you can see over the last two or three quarters as
the transformation has happened we have continued to focus on
our clients, we have continued to focus on growth, and continued
to focus on margins improvement."
The departure of 1,823 staff in the December quarter, and
several senior executives over the last six months, comes amid a
strategic shift led by founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, who was
brought back last year after a string of disappointing results.
Infosys did not say whether the employees had been laid off
or had left voluntarily.
"I am not too worried about it. With every restructuring
there are some people who have to go," said Juergen Maiar, a
Vienna-based fund manager with Raiffeisen Euroasien Aktien,
which owns Infosys shares.
"We are looking at improvement in utilisation with the
reduction in staff numbers, which is good for investors."
Infosys shares rose as much as 3.6 percent after the company
announced its quarterly earnings. The Mumbai stock market
was trading 0.7 percent higher.
Infosys was once considered a bellwether of India's
export-driven $108 billion IT outsourcing industry, but an
inflexibility on prices, among other factors, resulted in it
losing market share to rivals like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
, Wipro Ltd and Cognizant Technology Solutions
Infosys, which has been struggling to boost revenue from its
own software platforms and high-margin consulting business,
appeared to have some success in winning over large deals as the
turnaround took hold.
It said the number of $100 million-plus revenue clients rose
to 15 in the quarter up from 12 a year earlier.
Worldwide IT spending growth is expected to accelerate to
more than 5 percent in 2014 after growing last year at its
slowest pace since the financial crisis, according to the
International Data Corporation.
Infosys, whose customers include Bank of America Corp
and BT Group Plc, said net profit for the three
months ended Dec. 31 was 28.75 billion rupees ($463 million),
compared with 23.69 billion rupees a year earlier.
That compares with the average estimate of 27.15 billion
rupees by 21 analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 25 percent 130.3 billion rupees in the quarter.
The company added 54 new clients during the quarter, taking the
tally to 888.