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Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002

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Aztec mandates ING to scout for buy-outs

Abhrajit Gangopadhyay


INTERNET infrastructure software maker Aztec Software and Technology Services Ltd has mandated ING to scout for possible acquisitions. The company is currently in talks with a couple of such firms, according to its Chief Financial Officer, Mr A.G. Muralikrishnan.

Declining to detail the profiles of the target companies, Mr Muralikrishnan said, "Through ING we are in touch with a few companies and I do not think it would be proper to give any details at this stage."

Quashing market talk of a possible merger with iSeva, Mr Muralikrishnan said, "We have not begun any discussions about acquiring iSeva". Both iSeva and Aztec counts Mr K.B. Chandrasekhar's e4e as one of its investors. "Over the past year we have cooperated on several minor initiatives in the market, and this cooperation will continue...their services are complementary to ours,'' Mr Muralikrishnan added.

Aztec crept back into black in the September quarter of the current financial year with a net profit of Rs 1.69 crore over a topline of Rs 13.24 crore, up 18 per cent sequentially. Offshore efforts contributed 58 per cent to the company's revenue in the second quarter. The net profit margin for the September quarter was 11.38 per cent.

Aztec charged $22 per person per hour for its offshore efforts in the September quarter, down from $25 sequentially and $65 per person for onsite engagements, down from $71 per billed hour sequentially. Manpower utilisation for offshore efforts peaked at 85 per cent in the second quarter, from 63 per cent a quarter ago.

The onsite utilisation was close to 96 per cent in the second quarter up from 89 per cent in the previous quarter. The company said it added four new customers in the September quarter and serviced 17 active clients.

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