info-edge

Info Edge Ltd, which owns Naukri.com, 99Acres, Jeevansathi.com, Shiksha.com, among others, has reported a net profit after tax of Rs 32.21 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, up from Rs 30.8 crore profit in the same quarter last year and marginally lower than the Rs 33.26 crore profit in the previous quarter (ending 30th September 2013).

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The net sales were at Rs 123.36 crore for the quarter, up from Rs 106.4 crore in the corresponding quarter last year and flat compared to Rs 123.5 crore in the previous quarter. Earnings per share for Info Edge were at Rs 2.95 for the quarter, up from Rs 2.82 in the same quarter last year and lower than the Rs 3.05 in the previous quarter. Operating EBITDA was 41.7 crore up by 18.9% YoY, while operating profit was Rs 24.7 crore, up 11% year on year.

Info Edge leads the online recruitment business, with Naukri.com contributing for a majority of its topline, and as such, it is dependent on the state of the economy. Hiring, according to Naukri’s JobSpeak Index, witnesses a 13% increase in Dec 2013 over Dec 2012, though it remained flat between November and December 2013. However, readers must bear in mind that the final quarter of the year is Naukri’s best, with Q3 typically being flat due to the festive season (and a slump in hiring). During the quarter recruitment solutions grew by 10.8% while the real estate vertical grew by 39%.

Ambarish Raghuvanshi, the CFO of the company, is quoted in the press release as saying that the company witnessed a weak economic environment, but delivered “solid numbers” due to the IT/Tech sector performing well, and an improved competitive position. Margins held up.

Year-to-date, for a nine month period of the financial year, Info Edge has reported a profit of Rs 94.89 crore, on net sales of Rs  367.13 crore, as compared to a net profit of Rs 95.9 crore and net sales of Rs 320.18 crore for the same period last fiscal year. The company has pointed towards two exceptional items in the year-to-date figures: Rs 2.61 crore written off indicating a diminution of value of Nogle Technologies (Floost) in FY14, and Rs 29.28 crore written off in FY13 for the diminution in value of 99 Labels, the loss on sale of debentures held in 99 Labels and the waiving off of advance given to Info Edge (India) Mauritius.

Investments

During the quarter, Info Edge made three new investments:

Rs 57 crore in the online restaurant guide Zomato. Info Edge currently owns a majority 50.1% stake in the company.
Rs 10 crore on Applect Learning Systems, which runs the e-learning site MeritNation. Info Edge now owns 55.81% stake in the company.
Rs 4.5 crore on Canvera Digital Technologies which owns and operates the online photography service Canvera.com. Info Edge owns 26% stake in Canvera on a fully converted and diluted basis.

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Also read: On The 99 Acres Controversy, User Generated Listings & Intermediary Liability