Wipro's Profits Jump 21%

Chairman sees stabilizing demand and price environment for IT services.
Indian outsourcer Wipro on Wednesday reported a 21% rise in fiscal second quarter net income, though sales declined somewhat. Wipro said net income for the period ended Sept. 30 was $243 million, up from $201 million the same time a year ago.

Revenue from IT services fell 4% compared to the previous year, to $1.05 billion. The company said it expects third-quarter IT services revenues to come in at between $1.09 billion to $1.11 billion.

IT services represents 72% of Wipro's total sales, and 89% of its operating income. The company maintains a staff of about 97,000 workers, mostly based in India—where costs are considerably lower than in the U.S.

Wipro officials said they're beginning to see signs of a turnaround in the tech services market, which has slumped along with other segments.

"We see more stability in volumes and pricing as well as an improving demand environment. Our broad portfolio of services and strong delivery excellence continues to position us as a partner of choice with customers, as they focus on capital conservation and cost transformation," said Wipro chairman Azim Premji, in a statement.

Wipro said it won some key contracts in the second quarter, including a multi-year deal with what it called a leading global pharmaceutical company, and another multi-year agreement with "an iconic beverage company based in Australia." International beer, wine, and spirits producer Foster's Group is based in Melbourne.

Wipro further said it won a five-year pact to provide application development and maintenance services for British Petroleum.

Wipro's results were on par with industry bellwether IBM, which also saw a 4% decline in technology outsourcing sales in its most recent quarter. Wipro share were off 1.97%, to $18.37, in midday trading Wednesday.

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