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TCS net jumps 17.7% to Rs 8,162 cr despite lagging margins

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The largest Friday reported a 17.7 percent growth in March quarter net at Rs 8,162 crore, and guided towards continuing the momentum as the "laggard" segments have vanished, even though operating margins dipped a tad and continued to miss the target.

The Tata group's cash-cow delivered a net income of Rs 31,472 crore for fiscal 2019 under the Ind-AS accounting, up 21.9 percent over the previous year.

(TCS) said its annual revenue clipped past 9.6 percent in constant currency terms to USD 20.91 billion, which is the highest growth rate during the past 15 quarters.

For the first time,the two largest software exporters- and Infosys--reported their earnings in the same day, in fact, within an hour of each other wherein the Bengaluru- headquartered rival reported a 10.5 percent rise in net income at Rs 4,078 crore and guided towards 7.5-9.5 percent growth in revenue for FY20.

While overall revenue grew 18.5 percent to Rs 38,010 crore during the quarter, operating margins continued to get printed below its inspirational levels of 26-28 percent.

Operating margins came in at 25.1 percent for the quarter, down 0.31 percent over the year-ago period, yet the management reiterated its aspiration of clocking 26-28 percent margins, stressing that the current numbers are a global best.

Rajesh Gopinathan said he will "call out" in case he feels the numbers are not achievable.

Margins will be resilient and there are string levers to expand them, N Ganapathy Subramaniam said.

Gopinathan said has closed the quarter with a total contract value of USD 6.2 billion, and exuded confidence of being able to maintain the high number.

"That's sort of total contract value is one of the big things that gives us the confidence about the momentum that we see," he said, adding unlike last year, where there were segments growing at a much slower pace of 2-3 percent, there are no "laggards" which is a booster for the company.

The company is firing on all engines and will tread cautiously on the snow that it sees all around, Gopinathan said, when quizzed about the guidance.

It can be noted that industry lobby has discontinued its practice of giving a guidance for the industry because of the disruptions that it is undergoing.

The new-age and upcoming digital business, one of the prime reasons of the uncertainty, is growing for the company, Gopinathan said, pointing out that it grew 50 percent and constituted nearly 31 percent of the overall revenue pie.

From a sectoral perspective, its mainstay of banking, and insurance grew at near double- digits during the quarter and Gopinathan said there is no sectoral weakness now.

Revenue

growth from North America, which contributes over half of the total income, surged to 9.9 percent during the quarter. Interestingly, despite the many macro worries over factors like Brexit, England was a standout geography with 21.3 percent growth.

Subramaniam said rather than worrying about factors like Brexit, TCS looks at how to best align with a clients' strategic requirements which helps overcome any difficulties.

Ajoy Mukherjee, who is retiring soon after spending 39 years with the company, said the company added 29,287 people taking the total strength to 4.24 lakh.

He said employees will start getting their annual increments starting this evening and hinted that the country averages will range from 2-6 percent, and also announced a 100 percent variable pay.

The company has always been hiring locally and will continue to do so, especially in the face of policy setbacks like in the case of the US, he said.

On the discrimination suit filed by a few ex-staffers in the US, Gopinathan claimed TCS has won the jury trial but decided to settle the case as a "tactical" move.

Analysts at brokerage said the fall in operating margins despite the currency depreciation points out to competitive intensity.

Their peers at said the earnings "look relatively better owing margins disappointment at Infosys" and management commentary continues to remain "impressive".

The TCS scrip shed 0.26 per cent to close at Rs 2,013.75 a piece on the BSE, as against gains of 0.41 per cent on the benchmark.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 21:00 IST
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