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Wipro Q1 FY 2015 Results: Good in Parts....

Wipro announced its Q1 FY 2015 results today (for full details see here:).

Bit of a mixed bag from Wipro this quarter, generally positive, but with a few areas where we would hope to see improve over the next few quarters.

Looking at overall topline performance, revenues were towards the higher end of prior guidance of $1,715m-$1,755m, and the 9.6% reported y/y growth was the best quarter’s growth since Q4 FY 12. However, the constant currency growth of 8.1% was lower than that achieved in the previous two quarters.

Operating margin continues to see y/y improvement (2.8 pts to 22.8%), reflecting, inter alia, continuing improvement in utilization (now at 77.9% excluding trainees).

Wipro has introduced a new service line reporting segment, called the somewhat splendid “Advanced Technologies and Solutions” (seems to be comprised of the former Analytics and Information Management segment plus around $70m of business from other service lines such as Global Infrastructure Services, and Business Applications Services). Whatever the segment may include, it is not yet a growth engine for Wipro, having contributed between 11.5% and now 11.3% in the restated segment breakdowns for the last five quarters.

This segment restatement makes assessment of any new developments in y/y growth patterns difficult. Three service lines delivered double digit growth this quarter: infrastructure services (16.7% growth, ~$63m in incremental y/y revenue, over 40% of the total incremental revenue, Business Application Services the other major revenue engine, with $50m in incremental y/y revenue, and ), BPO, which had a very strong quarter of nearly 21% growth.

Looking at the verticals, media and telecoms had its best quarter for years, continuing to accelerate from the 10.5% CC growth achieved last quarter. This sector group has more than just stabilized; it is now delivering growth above overall company levels. A recent outsourcing win at Sanoma (see here: http://research.nelson-hall.com/sourcing-expertise/search-all-content/?avpage-views=article&searchid=29555&id=203303&fv=2) illustrates Wipro winning cost-take out IT outsourcing deals in the challenged media sector. The Energy & utilities sector slipped below double digit constant currency growth for the first time in years - but the Atco win (the largest in Wipro's history, see here http://research.nelson-hall.com/sourcing-expertise/search-all-content/?avpage-views=article&searchid=29555&id=203338&fv=2) will return its E&Ubusiness to being its fastest growing vertical. 

The Americas region (which for Wipro has predominantly been the U.S., though the Atco deal will soon increase its footprint in Canada) delivered its best topline growth, both as reported and in constant currency, for several years, reflecting improving commercial sector market demand. Topline growth in Europe slowed down slightly (in constant currency) – but for Wipro, Europe is not a new growth market: it is already generating around 30% of its revenues from the region. The India and Middle East business performed better than expected (up 13.4% y/y), as the elections did not have the negative impact that had been anticipated.

This is the first quarter in a year that Wipro has increased its headcount, with nearly 1,400 new net hires (the year-on-year increase is just 234). Does this indicate renewed confidence? Or are the new campus hires partly being done to contend with increasing attrition? Wipro reports its attrition in parts: excluding its India/Middle East business and BPO, voluntary TTM attrition is now up to 16.1% (Wipro doesn’t report involuntary attrition). BPO quarterly attrition was 11.8% (slightly down, but still an annual attrition of over 28%). A rough estimate puts Wipro’s voluntary TTM attrition, excluding the India and Middle East businesses, where attrition will be higher, at around 17.5%.

We also note Wipro has been making steady progress recently in increasing its share of wallet in some of its largest accounts but this quarter, the revenue contribution from clients 2 to 5 is down, from 13.2% to 12.7%.  

Revenue guidance for next quarter is in the range of $1,770m to $1,810m, a y/y growth of 8.5% to 11.0%. With a number of large outsourcing deals coming online over the course of this year, we would hope to see Wipro return to double digit growth within the next two quarters.

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