India's TCS beats Q1 view, flags persistent demand uncertainty

Illustration shows TCS: Tata Consultancy Services logo

By Sai Ishwarbharath B and Haripriya Suresh

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Tata Consultancy Services, India's top IT services company, said despite slightly surpassing first-quarter revenue estimates, it is "too early" to predict sustained growth in future quarters.

"The reason why we are hesitant to call sustained growth is we find market conditions to be quite volatile," said CEO K Krithivasan.

The uncertainty stems from customers holding back tech spends as they are preparing for a "rainy day", he added in a post-earnings press conference.

High interest rates and geopolitical risks have impacted demand for services from Indian IT companies since FY23. Clients worldwide are cutting discretionary tech spending and awarding more cost-cutting deals, which have lower margins.

The company's consolidated revenue rose 5.4% to 626.13 billion rupees ($7.50 billion) in the June quarter. Analysts, on average, expected revenue at 622.07 billion rupees, as per LSEG data.

The Tata group company's net profit rose 8.7% to 120.40 billion rupees in the first quarter, barely above the 119.78 billion rupees forecast by analysts.

The company won deals worth $8.3 billion during the quarter, down from a record $13.2 billion in the quarter ended March.

The revenue growth was bolstered by mega deals it won in the last fiscal such as Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and insurer Aviva. TCS announced four mega deals (contracts over $500 million) in the last fiscal year even as clients clamped down on discretionary tech spending due to an uncertain macroeconomic environment.

Revenue from the manufacturing segment rose 9.4% year-over-year. Revenue from four out of its eight segments, including banking and financial services, fell.

Sanjeev Hota, head of research at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, called it a "solid" quarter with strong revenue growth.

"Expecting an overall demand recovery in second-half of FY25 (for the Indian IT sector) as most of the headwinds are bottoming out, while FY26 will be a full-blown recovery," Hota said.

Indian IT companies, which earn a significant share of their revenue from the U.S., stand to benefit from a likely early rate cut in the world's biggest economy, according to analysts.

TCS' shares closed 0.37% higher ahead of the results.

(Reporting by Sai Ishwarbharath B and Haripriya Suresh; Editing by Eileen Soreng and Vijay Kishore)