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Wipro flags coronavirus hit, defers quarterly revenue outlook
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian IT services firm Wipro predicted a "challenging" period ahead on Wednesday and said it would not be able to give revenue forecast for its fiscal first quarter, as the company struggled with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first of India's big global outsourcers to report at the start of the country's regular earnings season, the company reported profit of 23.26 billion rupees for its fourth quarter to the end of March, below analysts' estimates of 24.47 billion rupees as costs rose 5.2% to 133.76 billion rupees.

It said it could not give a forecast for the three months to June due to the uncertainty generated by the outbreak and related lockdowns.

Already in the grip of an economic downturn, India has just extended a nationwide lockdown that stretches back to the second half of March until May 3, hoping to head off a major outbreak of the virus has claimed over 100,000 lives globally.

Like its peers in India's software services sector, the company is better insulated from the crisis than retail or travel peers, but it also relies heavily on revenue from clients in the United States and Europe, who have been hit hard by the virus.

"The quarters ahead seem challenging and require a tremendous response on costs," Chief Financial Officer Jatin Dalal said.

The Bengaluru-based firm estimated revenue in its biggest segment, IT services, was negatively impacted by about $14-$16 million for the quarter ended March by the virus outbreak.

The business, however, reported a 5.9% rise in revenue to 152.96 billion rupees, taking overall revenue to 157.11 billion rupees.

The company's shares closed down 1.4% on Wednesday, while the broader market ended 0.76% lower.

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