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Wipro profit boosts IT confidence

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BANGALORE, India (Reuters) -- Leading Indian IT services company, Wipro Ltd, says its quarterly net profit rose a surprising 18.6 percent amid signs of a rebound in the information technology sector.

The Bangalore-based company, India's third-largest software services company, said on Wednesday it expected revenue of $269 million from its global information technology business in the quarter to March 31.

It reported a net profit of 2.74 billion rupees ($60.35 million) in the fiscal third quarter ending December 31.

That compared with a reported net profit of 2.31 billion rupees a year earlier and 2.3 billion rupees a quarter ago.

A Reuters poll of 15 analysts had estimated New York-listed Wipro, which also has minor interests in consumer products such as lightbulbs and soaps, to report a net profit of 2.43 billion rupees on sales of 14.27 billion rupees in the quarter.

The result, aided by a rising wave of software services outsourcing, came nearly two weeks after Infosys Technologies Ltd -- the No. 2 industry exporter after unlisted Tata Consultancy Services -- raised its full-year profit forecasts for the third straight quarter.

Shares of Wipro have risen 116 percent from a year's low last May.

This has been broadly in line with a rally aided by a revival in Mumbai's infotech index.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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