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Tata Communications Ltd on Wednesday reported a net profit of Rs1,251 crore for the financial year ended March, a 11-year high, compared with a loss of Rs86 crore in fiscal 2020, driven by strong operating performance that rose about 30% year-on-year (y-o-y) due to sharp focus on operating structure and improving cost efficiency.

Consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) or operating performance increased 29.5% y-o-y to Rs4,261 crore during FY21. However, consolidated revenue was largely unchanged from a year ago at Rs17,100 crore. The company said, “Business environment has been impacted due to the pandemic and this has also affected our growth."

The company’s data revenue rose 4.5% y-o-y to Rs14,309 crore during the financial year due to robust performance in traditional services. However, data revenue fell 2.2% from a year ago to Rs3,515 during the March quarter as covid-related curbs prolonged deal conversion and execution cycle.

The Tata group company’s profit for the March quarter came in at Rs299 crore versus a loss of Rs275 crore in the same period last financial year, Tata Communications said in a statement.

During Q4FY21, consolidated revenue was at Rs4,073 crore, down 7.4% y-o-y, as a result of deceleration in voice and data business. The company maintained profitability despite slower revenue growth, posting an Ebitda of Rs1,015 crore during January-March, up 16.8% from the year-ago period. It reported an Ebitda margin of 24.9% for the March quarter.

“FY21 has been a great year, making excellent progress on our well-defined strategy. Execution on financial fitness is yielding good results and the shifts from products to platforms, deeper customer engagements are a work in progress, and we anticipate continued progress on these strategic levers to achieve our goals," said AS Lakshminarayanan, managing director and chief executive, Tata Communications.

The company’s chief financial officer Kabir Ahmed Shakir said profit and cash flow have improved “dramatically" during the year. Tata Communications now has a stronger balance sheet that will enable it to invest to grow the business in future, he said.

Strong cash flow generation helped the company pare debt to "comfortable levels". Tata Communications' net debt now stands at Rs7,786 crore, the company said.

Tata Communications bagged multiple enterprise orders during the March quarter. It signed up one of the largest state-owned banks in India to provide and scale up security for customer data. An integrated container logistics and shipping services company partnered Tata Communications to provide connectivity across 200 locations in 109 countries, the company said.

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