Technology blue chip Infosys Ltd on Friday reported a 2.4 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 3,690 crore during the three months ended March 2018 as against Rs 3,603 crore in the same period of the last year. The company also forecast its revenue in the current fiscal year would rise by 6 to 8 per cent and said it would pay shareholders Rs 13,000 crore.
Revenue from operations for the fourth quarter rose by 5.6 per cent to Rs 18,083 crore as against Rs 17,120 crore a year ago.
Infosys said it would stick to its policy of returning up to 70 per cent of its free cash, adding that it had identified up to Rs 13000 crore which would be paid to shareholders including a special dividend payout worth Rs 2,600 crore. For the full 12 months, it posted an 11.7 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 16,029 crore and a three per cent increase in revenue to Rs 70,522 crore. While the special dividend of Rs 2,600 crore will be paid in June 2018, it has identified Rs 10,400 crore to be paid out to shareholders for the financial year 2019. The results were the first for a full quarter under chief executive Salil Parekh who joined Infosys in January.
“I am pleased with our healthy revenue growth, profitability, and cash generation in Q4. Our robust performance is a reflection of the strong impact we have with our clients and the dedication of our employees. ‘Navigating Your Next’ is our aspiration of how we will partner with our clients.” said Salil Parekh, CEO. “We will execute our strategy around the four pillars of scaling our agile digital business which is today $2.79 billion in revenue, energising our client’s core technology landscape via AI and automation, re-skilling our employees and expanding our localisation in markets such as US, Europe and Australia.”
“Revenue productivity per employee was stable during the year …,” said Pravin Rao, COO.
Analysts said the Infosys results were on the expected lines. “The return of cash is a positive for shareholders, and implies more efficient cash utilisation, which will raise return on equity and improve earnings, particularly if the IT major announces a share buyback at a later date,” said an analyst.
For FY 2018, the board recommended a final dividend of Rs 20.50 per share amounting to Rs 5,349 crore. After including the interim dividend of Rs 13 per share, the total dividend for the fiscal will amount to Rs 33.50 per share resulting in a payout of Rs 8,771 crore which will amount to approximately 70 per cent of free cash flow for the fiscal. “Our operating margins during the quarter and fiscal 2018 were resilient due to unwavering focus on productivity and operational efficiency, leading to a robust cash generation. During the year, the company implemented the capital allocation policy including the successful closure of $2 billion share buyback program in December 2017 and healthy increase in dividend per share for the year.” said MD Ranganath, CFO. “Our margin guidance reflects our emphasis on digital-led growth and focused investments in this journey.”
During the quarter ended December 31, 2017, on account of the conclusion of an Advance Pricing Agreement with the US Internal Revenue Service, the company has reversed income tax expense provision of Rs 1,432 crore which pertains to previous periods which are no longer required. Consequently, profit for the quarter ended December 2017 and the year ended March 2018 has increased. In the quarter ended March 2018, on conclusion of a strategic review of the portfolio businesses, the company initiated identification and evaluation of potential buyers for its subsidiaries, Kallidus and Skava and Panaya. “The company anticipates completion of the sale by March 2019 and accordingly, assets amounting to Rs 2,060 crore and liabilities amounting to Rs 324 crore in respect of the disposal group have been reclassified as ‘held for sale’,” it said .