January 10, 2020 / 11:43 AM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 2-Infosys probe finds no evidence of misconduct after whistleblower complaint

(Updates to add exec comments from press conference)

By Derek Francis

BENGALURU, Jan 10 (Reuters) - India's second-biggest IT company, Infosys Ltd, said it found no evidence of financial misconduct by its executives following a investigation into whistleblower complaints.

Bengaluru-headquartered Infosys, which earlier on Friday raised its revenue forecasts due to upbeat demand from Western clients, said an audit committee report exonerated Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh and Chief Financial Officer Nilanjan Roy of all allegations, including accusations that the duo prevented employees from presenting data on large deals.

"I'm very happy that CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy have emerged from this stronger," Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani told reporters. "The last two years since Salil has been here the company has changed dramatically for the better."

Parekh took over as Infosys CEO in January 2018, after his predecessor Vishal Sikka quit following a public row with the company's founder executives amid whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing.

The company earlier said it expected revenue to grow between 10% and 10.5% on a constant currency basis in the year ending March 2020, compared with its previous forecast of between 9% and 10%.

"We continue to see momentum in the market and we have an extremely robust pipeline driven by segment leaders," CEO Parekh told a news conference.

"With the strength of large deal wins and digital momentum, we were able to clearly see that we have support to raise our guidance."

Infosys said it signed large deals worth $1.8 billion in the quarter to December, a factor that helped the company post a 23.5% rise in net profit to 44.57 billion rupees ($628.2 million).

That compared with a profit of 36.09 billion rupees a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected Infosys to post a profit of 42.06 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv data.

Sales were 7.9% higher at 230.92 billion rupees.

The company's digital offerings now account for 40.8 percent of its overall revenues, it said.

Infosys expects to see some softness in its banking and retail business, Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao said.

Financial services, including banking, is Infosys' biggest revenue stream, accounting for around a third of its revenue.

Infosys shares closed 1.5 percent higher in a broader Mumbai market which edged 0.3 percent up. ($1 = 70.95 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Derek Francis; Writing by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Maju Samuel and Louise Heavens)

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