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India's Tech Mahindra misses Q4 revenue estimates, unveils three-year turnaround plan

Bengaluru (Reuters) - Tech Mahindra, India's fifth-largest software company, reported fourth-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates on Thursday and unveiled a three-year turnaround plan.

Consolidated revenue fell 6.2% year-on-year to 128.71 billion rupees ($1.55 billion) in the January-March quarter. Analysts, on average, expected revenue of 129.55 billion rupees, as per LSEG data.

The communications and media segment, which contributes to a third of its overall revenue, saw a 16.5% decline.

The company also laid out a three-year plan aimed at increasing revenue and doubling operating margin to 15% by fiscal 2027. The plan, which involves hiring more freshers, increasing automation and reducing subcontracting expenses, will help save $250 million annually.

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Stubbornly high inflation and geopolitical risks have pushed clients to cut down on discretionary tech spending.

The Pune-based company's net profit fell about 41% to 6.61 billion rupees, missing analysts' average estimate of 7.57 billion rupees.

Earlier this month, market leader Tata Consultancy Services posted a lower-than-expected revenue, although it said a strong deal pipeline will drive growth this fiscal year.

The Mahindra group company's net new deal bookings stood at $500 million, compared with $382 million in the previous quarter and $592 million in the year-ago period.

Brokerage Jefferies, in a post-earnings research note, said the company's fourth-quarter results did not have any "meaningful surprises", while the net new deals were "uninspiring".

"This is the year of turnaround, so you should expect to see volatility ... we expect to come back fully to growth by the second half of the (fiscal) year," said CEO Mohit Joshi, adding the decline in the communications vertical was on account of macro headwinds.

This is the first full quarter under Joshi's leadership, who took over in December.

($1 = 83.3028 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Sai Ishwarbharath B and Haripriya Suresh; Editing by Janane Venkatraman, Eileen Soreng, Sohini Goswami and Tasim Zahid)