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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July 2005, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
India's Wipro sees profits soar
Azim Premji
Wipro is majority owned by India's richest man Azim Premji
Wipro, India's third-biggest software firm, has reported a 31% rise in profit, below market expectations.

First-quarter net profits were $98.1m (56m), against $74.8m a year earlier.

But the rise in profits fell short of analysts forecasts because of rising costs, currency appreciation and higher investments in sales and marketing.

Wipro offers IT and call centre services to foreign clients and has worked for more than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list.

Revenues grew 29% to $525.5m - overseas outsourcing business accounted for most of it.

Profit pressure

"Our global IT business continued to sustain momentum. The IT services component of the business witnessed strong volume growth and improved price realisations during the quarter," Wipro chairman Azim Premji said.

He said outsourcing from Western countries was expected to contribute $422m in revenues in the July-September quarter.

Suresh Senapaty, chief financial officer, said profits in the first quarter had been "impacted by increased visa costs, currency appreciation and higher investments in sales and marketing."

Wipro said it had hired more than 2,000 employees during the quarter, and added 29 new customers.

The company suffered a serious blow in June, when it lost its second top executive in a month.

Wipro president Vivek Paul left the firm to join a US private equity firm. Mr Paul's departure followed that of Raman Roy, head of the company's back-office services unit.

Wipro is majority owned by Mr Premji, India's richest man.

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