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July 19, 1999
NIIT shortlists 20 US companies for acquisitionNIIT Limited's acquisition shortlist now has on it 20 United States based software companies, says CEO Vijay K Thadani.
Thadani explains that NIIT is now in the process of zeroing in on the companies that it will either completely acquire or enter into strategic alliances with.
''We are looking at acquiring one or more companies in the US. As part of our growth strategy, we intend to pursue acquisitions only in the US. For other markets, the strategies differ,'' he explains.
Ruling out the possibility of launching an American depository receipt issue, Thadani says that the $100 million acquisition programme would be funded entirely through internal accruals.
''We are working actively... It has taken longer than we thought but we are making good progress and are likely to complete it within this calendar year.''
NIIT is presently operating in 31 countries through 18 wholly owned subsidiaries and two joint venture companies. Besides, efforts are on to increase its presence across the globe.
It has also become a near zero-debt company in the April-June 1999 quarter and expects to retire all debts by the year-end. The debt-equity ratio is at present 0.2:1.
''We have some term loans of around Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million) which we have to necessarily carry for another few years. We are trying for pre-payment of those loans and once those are through, we would be a zero-debt company.''
NIIT has projected a 30 per cent growth in revenue and profits during its 1998-99 financial year ending September 1999. In 1997-98, the net profit was Rs 1.08 billion on sales of Rs 4.58 billion.
It now has, in hand, orders worth $32 million, executable over the next 12 months, he said.
NIIT had recorded a 40 per cent surge in net profit during the three months ending June 30, 1999, the third quarter of its 1998-99 fiscal, to touch Rs 609.8 million as against Rs 435.6 million in the corresponding period last year.
Gross profit grew around 40 per cent at Rs 712.5 million over Rs 512 million. Net sales of the company moved up to Rs 1.5 billion during the quarter of the fiscal as compared to Rs 1.3 billion.
A similar trend was observed for nine months of the company's financial year ended June 30 last. Net profit of the company stood at Rs 894.9 million, up by around 44 per cent over Rs 619.5 million the corresponding period of the previous financial year.
Gross profit also rose by about 44 per cent at Rs 1.17 billion. Net sales went up to Rs 4.21 billion against the previous figure of Rs 3.34 billion.
Thadani said almost half of NIIT's global revenues came from its international business that saw a growth of 43 per cent to touch Rs 3.14 billion.
The US geography continued its strong growth rate at 63 per cent to contribute Rs 1.55 billion to total revenues.
Software solutions business recorded revenues of Rs 3.08 billion, representing a growth of 45 per cent. Software solutions revenues today constitute 49 per cent of its global revenues.
Learning solutions revenues went up by 26 per cent to touch Rs 3.23 billion. The global revenues of NIIT and its subsidiaries at Rs 6.32 billion represent an increase of 35 per cent over the corresponding nine-month period, he said.
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