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TCS profit misses estimates, pandemic hits client spending

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BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian software company Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) posted a near 14% drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday, that also missed estimates, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced its clients to cut spending on IT services.

TCS, India’s largest IT exporter, is the first among its peers to report earnings in what is expected to be one of the worst quarters for the sector due to the pandemic.

IT services firms such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro, which depend heavily on corporations across Europe and North America for their revenues, are facing a spending squeeze from clients as the health crisis batters the global economy.

However, the company’s Chief Executive Rajesh Gopinathan said in a statement he believed that the impact from the pandemic had “bottomed out”.

TCS’ banking, financial services and insurance segment (BFSI) was the only large business division to report a modest 2% increase in revenue to 152.82 billion rupees in the three months to June, while revenue in most other segments fell.

The company said net profit for the quarter fell 13.8% year-on-year to 70.08 billion rupees ($934.94 million). Analysts’ on average had expected a profit of 77.05 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv data.

Overall, revenue rose marginally to 383.22 billion rupees from 381.72 billion rupees a year ago.

Shares of the company closed down 0.66% in a broader market that rose about 1% before the results were announced.

($1 = 74.9563 rupees)

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich