India's HCLTech revenue tad lower than view, CEO signals persistent macro overhang

By Sai Ishwarbharath B and Haripriya Suresh

BENGALURU (Reuters) -HCLTech, India's No. 3 IT services player, reported smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue on Friday, even as the company said it expected the current macroeconomic volatility tied to demand to continue into fiscal year 2025.

The firm posted a 7.1% rise in revenue, to 284.99 billion rupees ($3.42 billion) for the three months ended March 31, compared with analysts' average estimate of 286.07 billion rupees, according to LSEG data.

Its technology and services vertical fell 8.7% year-on-year, while the healthcare and lifesciences vertical fell 1%.

For financial year 2025, the company forecast a revenue growth of 3% to 5%, lower than Street expectations.

"Broader macro continues to be quite volatile. We are cautiously optimistic and assume a similar macro environment that we saw in fiscal 2024 to also be there for a predominant part of fiscal 2025," said CEO C Vijayakumar.

This comes as deals in the industry are largely focussed on cutting costs, as clients continue to hold back on non-essential spending like upgrading existing software, cloud services and consulting.

Additionally, an uncertain macroeconomic climate and geopolitical tensions have kept demand in India's $254 billion IT industry subdued.

"The annual guidance is a tad lower as we were expecting 4 to 6%. Like fiscal 2024, large deals should offer a helping hand to retain its pole position (in terms of revenue growth) among Top 5 this year," said Devang Bhatt, analyst at IDBI Capital.

Commentary from HCLTech's peers has largely been consistent, with companies expecting next year to be better, but without significant changes to the demand environment.

For the quarter, the company's net profit was flat at 39.86 billion rupees, compared with the year-ago period. Analysts estimated a profit of 41.10 billion rupees, according to LSEG data.

HCLTech's new deal wins stood at $2.29 billion, compared with $1.93 billion in the previous quarter and $2.07 billion in the year-ago period.

($1 = 83.3552 Indian rupees)

(Sai Ishwarbharath B; Editing by Sohini Goswami and Pooja Desai)