Info Edge Q1 profit up 45%; Helion Venture co-founder Ashish Gupta rejoins board
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Info Edge (India) Ltd, which runs job portal Naukri, realty site 99acres and matrimonial platform Jeevansathi, reported a net profit of Rs 64.2 crore for the quarter ended June 2017, up 45% from Rs 44.4 crore in the same quarter last year.

Net sales stood at Rs 222 crore, up 12.6% over Rs 197.6 crore in the same period last year, the company announced in a stock-exchange filing.

Total expenditure was almost flat at Rs 157 crore. It stood at Rs 156 crore in the same quarter last year.

Ashish Gupta
The company attributed the growth in net profit to a better operating margin. Chintan Thakkar, chief financial officer of Info Edge, said in a statement: “Our EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin has been accelerating for the past three quarters. This quarter, the EBITDA margin after adjusting for the non-cash charge for employee stock options is at a healthy 35.5% and the adjusted EBITDA is up 44% compared to the corresponding quarter of last year.”

Segment-wise, recruitment solutions—which includes Naukri and related services—posted a pre-tax profit of Rs 85.3 crore, up almost 20% from Rs 708 crore in the same quarter last year. Sequentially, however, it was almost flat over previous quarter's Rs 84.4 crore.

Though 99acres continued to be in the red, losses narrowed to Rs 11.2 crore from over Rs 20 crore in the same quarter last year. Loss in the previous quarter (Q4 of FY2017) was Rs 12.5 crore.

In a separate development, Ashish Gupta, co-founder of venture capital firm Helion Venture Partners, has joined the Info Edge board as a non-executive, independent director, the filing showed. Gupta's appointment to the board will be for a term of five years.

Gupta was a director at Info Edge in the past as well, but had stepped down in October 2014. He has been involved with many other ventures in the US and India, including business process outsourcing company Daksh, which is now part of IBM. In February this year, he joined the board of HyperTrack, a location tracking tools provider.

Gupta could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Gupta holds a bachelor’s in computer science from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, and a PhD in database technology from Stanford University. He has worked with Amazon Inc, which he joined in 1998 following the Seattle-based e-tailer's acquisition of online shopping service Junglee. Gupta was co-founder and vice president of engineering of Junglee. He also co-founded Bangalore-based software services firm Tavant Technologies.

Helion, founded in 2006, invests in early- to mid-stage ventures. It has $605 million under management. To date, the VC firm has backed about 60 firms in technology and technology-powered businesses such as e-commerce, online services, mobility, enterprise software and outsourcing. The firm boasts a portfolio that includes names like ShopClues, BigBasket, Ezetap, Azure Power, MakeMyTrip, redBus and TaxiForSure.

Info Edge’s managing director and chief executive Hitesh Oberoi had recently told VCCircle that the company was on the lookout for the right portfolio fits to power its recruitment business. He also underscored the company's strategy to step up in-house investments in emerging technologies like machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence.

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