Our Bureau

Chennai, April 27

POLARIS Software Lab Ltd has reported reduced net profit of Rs 5.80 crore on revenues of Rs 196.42 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2005 as against a net profit of Rs 10.52 crore on revenues of Rs 170.30 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

For the year ended March 31, 2005, the company reported a net profit of Rs 74.26 crore on revenues of Rs 787.12 crore as against a net profit of Rs 74.37 crore on revenues of Rs 646.42 crore for the last fiscal, says a company press release.

The board of directors has recommended a dividend of Rs 1.75 per equity share of Rs 5 (35 per cent) for the year ended March 31, 2005.

The company added 173 employees during March quarter to take the total manpower strength to 6,003, the release says.

Man Investments, one of the world's leading alternative investments players, has selected Polaris for delivery of a large project. Polaris also made an entry into two large banking customers (top ten Wall Street banks) during the quarter. Details of the project were not provided.

Polaris is building two additional businesses. Polaris is also in the investment phase for creating a platform Optimum, a complete card-on-demand credit card outsourcing business. Polaris is funding the investments in both the above businesses without any external funding using cash generated from its healthy and profitable service business, the release says.

The board of directors of Polaris has undergone a change. Mr Dipak Rastogi, Head Citigroup Venture Capital International, leaves the board. Mr Anil Sachdev and Mr Anil Khanna will join the board.

Mr Sachdev is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Grow Talent Company Ltd, a specialist talent management consultancy, and Mr Khanna recently joined Citigroup Venture Capital International and is responsible for cross-border investment opportunities and business services, says the release.

Buyback: The board has approved a buyback of equity shares of the company to the extent of Rs 49 crore. The buyback will be executed at a price not exceeding Rs 115 per share.

"The intent to buyback is a signal of the management's confidence in the company's business model and continued growth," says Mr Prabal Basu Roy, group chief financial officer and executive vice president, Polaris. "We believe the current share price does not reflect the full potential of our business model," he said in the press release.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 28, 2005)
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