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Wipro posts Rs 230cr profit, fails to impress

Bangalore, Jan. 17: Faring below market expectations but meeting its own, software major Wipro today reported a 27 per cent jump in its revenues at Rs 1,108 crore and a net profit of Rs 230 crore for the quarter ended December 2002.

Describing the third quarter results as “balanced and boring”, Wipro vice-chairman Vivek Paul said Wipro’s revenues for the nine months ended December 31, 2002, were Rs 3,100 crore and the profit after tax was Rs 640 crore.

“It is a boring quarter as it turned out as we had expected,” Paul, also president of Wipro Technologies, which contributes 67 per cent of Wipro group’s revenues, said.

Wipro chairman Azim Premji said for the quarter ending March 2003, the company estimates the revenue of its global IT services to be approximately $ 162 million, the revenue of subsidiary Spectramind to be $ 12 million, and of Wipro Healthscience to be $ 2.5 million.

In the IT-enabled services segment, however, intense price competition resulted in revenues of $ 11.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2002, against the company’s estimates of $ 12.5 million.

“The global technology sector continues to be under pressure,” Premji said.

Wipro’s performance, while meeting its own expectations, failed to enthuse the Mumbai stock market where its stocks turned weak on selling induced by the company’s “discouraging” third quarter results.

Wipro Technologies, the group’s global IT business, reported a 23 per cent rise in its revenues year on year to Rs 745 crore and profit before interest and tax (PBIT) at Rs 210 crore.

Premji said Wipro was looking at acquisitions from “a strategic and opportunistic” points of view.

“One year, we will continue to do that (acquisitions).”

“Our acquisition strategy focuses on both strategic acquisitions and opportunistic plays. Wipro Spectramind and global energy practice of AMS Inc are strategic acquisitions while the Ericsson R&D centre was opportunistic,” he said.

Wipro also confirmed that its IT-enabled services subsidiary Spectramind has bagged a business process outsourcing order from global giant Microsoft but declined to share the details.

Microsoft chief Bill Gates had visited the Wipro campus recently and hinted at joining hands with the company, saying it would be a “win-win situation” for both.

Wipro recruited 1,526 people during the quarter ended December 2002, highest compared with the previous two quarters, and said it would continue to hire depending on its business needs. The company would visit 30 campuses this year for hiring, Paul said. The attrition rate fell significantly to 7 per cent during the third quarter from 19 per cent reported in the second quarter.

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