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India's Satyam Quarter Profit Rises 29%, Ups Forecast

Satyam Computer Services, India's fourth-largest software services exporter, on Monday posted a 29 percent rise in quarterly profit, meeting estimates, as it won large outsourcing deals.

The company, which specializes in business software and offers back-office services, said under Indian accounting standards its revenue in the year to March would grow between 29 and 29.2 percent -- higher than 26.3-26.7 percent it had forecast in October.

Earnings per share were forecast to grow 18.9 percent, up from 16.5-17 percent growth it projected in October.

Satyam managed to boost its margins by 164 basis points in the December quarter by increasing billing rates, improving productivity and sending more jobs to its low-cost India centers, chief financial officer V. Srinivas said in a statement.

New York-listed Satyam said consolidated net profit for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to 4.34 billion rupees ($110 million) from 3.37 billion reported a year earlier.

That compared with a Reuters consensus forecast of 4.32 billion rupees.

Satyam, whose clients include General Electric and Qantas Airways, reported its results after bigger rivals Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies beat estimates, while Wipro lagged forecasts.

India's export-driven services firms have been winning large outsourcing deals from western customers looking to cut costs, but a 12 percent rise in the rupee against the dollar in 2007, soaring wages and recession fears in the U.S. are concerns.

Satyam said it would acquire Chicago-based management consulting firm Bridge Strategy Group for $35 million.

The company will also list its existing ADS on NYSE Euronext to enhance its brand visibility in Europe.