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Big daddy Infy dwarfs forecast
- Sights set on $2-bn mark

Bangalore, April 14: Infosys Technologies has logged a better-than-expected 53.15 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 1,904.38 crore during 2004-05 compared with Rs 1,243.47 crore in the previous financial year.

The outlook for 2005-06 seems rosy for the IT bellwether, with a revenue projection of $2 billion. It took the company two decades to touch the billion-dollar mark (2003-04), but it seems set to cross the next milestone of $2 billion in a couple of years.

In its outlook for the first quarter (April-June) of 2005-06, the company estimated a consolidated revenue of Rs 2,020 crore, a year-on-year growth of 33 per cent. In 2005-06, the company said its consolidated income will be in the range of Rs 8,890 crore to Rs 9,029 crore. This will represent a year-on-year growth of 25-27 per cent.

'We are beginning to see the results of various initiatives taken in the last few years. Our clients increasingly see us as a strategic long-term partner, who can offer a wide range of services and contribute to their business goals,' CEO and managing director Nandan M. Nilekani said.

Currency pressure

In the beginning of 2004-05, the company projected a modest revenue growth of 24 per cent at Rs 6041 crore. Due to rupee appreciation during the fiscal, the consolidated revenue growth for the full year, however, fell short marginally to 46.91 per cent at Rs 7,132 crore from its revised guidance figure of Rs 7,160 crore announced on October 12, 2004.

The company has recorded a total income of Rs 6,859.66 crore in 2004-05, up from Rs 4,760.89 crore in 2003-04.

Nilekani said the company's fourth-quarter earnings jumped two-thirds on increased outsourcing by US companies and a stake sale in a subsidiary ' Yantra Corporation of the US ($11 million).

The US-based companies accounted for 65.2 per cent of the revenues during 2004-05 followed by European ones at 22. 3 per cent and those from other countries contributing 10.6 per cent. In India, too, the company doubled its income to Rs 133.49 crore from Rs 66.23 crore last fiscal.

Payout at 130%

The board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 6.50 per share for 2004-05 or 130 per cent on shares of Rs 5. This will cost the company Rs 175.87 crore.

At the end of the first two quarters, the company had declared an interim dividend of Rs 5 or 100 per cent on a face value of Rs 5 per share and amounting to Rs 133.93 crore. The total dividend recommended for the year is Rs 11.50 per share or 230 per cent on the face value, amounting to Rs 309.80 crore.

The earnings per share (EPS), after exceptional items for the entire fiscal, posted a year-on-year growth of 51.47 per cent at Rs 70.95. The EPS before exceptional items increased to Rs 67.46 from Rs 46.85, registering an increase of 45.82 per cent.

Last quarter, Infosys and its subsidiaries added 37 clients and recruited 1,521 employees to take the headcount to 36,750 on March 31 (total number of personnel recruited during the entire financial year being 11,116 for Infosys and its subsidiaries). It has 34,417 software professionals on its rolls on March 31, 2005.

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