Cognizant Q3 net profit rises 4.1% to $497 mn; company to slash 7,000 jobs as part of cost reduction drive

Cognizant will remove about 10,000-12,000 mid-to-senior level associates worldwide from their current roles in coming quarters, it said.

Press Trust of India October 31, 2019 11:36:23 IST
Cognizant Q3 net profit rises 4.1% to $497 mn; company to slash 7,000 jobs as part of cost reduction drive
  • The company's revenue grew 4.2% to $4.25 billion in the third quarter, as compared to $4.07 billion in the year-ago period

  • The US firm announced a simplification of its operating model and a cost reduction programme that will allow it to fund investments in growth

  • Cognizant's total headcount stood at 2,89,900 people at the end of September 2019 quarter

New Delhi: IT major Cognizant on Thursday posted 4.1 percent increase in net profit to $497 million for September 2019 quarter, and said it will slash up to 7,000 jobs in the next few months as part of a cost reduction programme.

The US-based company, which has a significant portion of its workforce based in India, had posted a net profit of $477 million in the year-ago period. It has also raised its annual revenue growth outlook to 4.6-4.9 percent for 2019.

Its revenue grew 4.2 percent to $4.25 billion in the third quarter, as compared to $4.07 billion in the year-ago period, Cognizant said in a statement.

The topline rose 5.1 percent on constant currency basis, exceeding the guidance of 3.8-4.8 percent revenue growth given for the third quarter.

Cognizant Q3 net profit rises 41 to 497 mn company to slash 7000 jobs as part of cost reduction drive

Cognizant. Pic courtesy: Reuters.

The company has also raised the lower-end of its annual revenue growth guidance. It now expects its topline for the fiscal to grow 4.6-4.9 percent in constant currency basis, from its previous expectation of 3.9-4.9 percent.

It expects its October quarter year-on-year revenue growth to be in the range of 2.1-3.1 percent in constant currency basis.

"Over the past few months, we've sharpened Cognizant's strategic posture and begun executing plans aimed at improving our competitive positioning," Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries said.

He added that the company is now announcing a simplification of its operating model and a cost reduction programme that will allow it to fund investments in growth.

Cognizant will remove about 10,000-12,000 mid-to-senior level associates worldwide from their current roles in coming quarters, it said.

The gross reduction is expected to lead to a net reduction of approximately 5,000 to 7,000 roles (about 2 percent of its total headcount) and re-skilling and redeployment of about 5,000 of the total associates impacted.

"We expect the remaining 5,000-7,000 associates to exit the company by mid-2020 either through attrition or role elimination," Cognizant CFO Karen McLoughlin said.

The company has not detailed out the geographies that would be impacted by the reductions.

However, given that India accounts for the biggest share of the company's headcount, the impact of these layoffs is expected to be significant.

Cognizant's total headcount stood at 2,89,900 people at the end of September 2019 quarter. The company had recently stated that its headcount in India has crossed the two-lakh mark.

"Looking ahead, we see a clear path to unlock the organisation's full growth potential, win in our key digital battle-grounds, and return Cognizant to its historical position of being the bellwether of the IT services industry," Humphries said.

The optimisation of cost structure is expected to result in total charges of approximately $150-200 million, primarily related to severance and facility exit costs.

This is expected to result in an annualised gross savings run rate of approximately $500-550 million in year 2021, the company said.

Cognizant saw its financial services segment - which accounted for over 35 percent of the company's revenues - posting 1.9 percent growth in constant currency terms, while healthcare decreased 1.2 percent.

Updated Date:

also read

Infosys, Wipro, TechM layoffs: No easy way out of the mess as threat of hi-tech, Trump gets real
Business

Infosys, Wipro, TechM layoffs: No easy way out of the mess as threat of hi-tech, Trump gets real

Pink slips are being handed to the employees with a demoralising advise that they hadn’t performed well. When it happens to be people in their 30s and 40s, it’s far more devastating

Cognizant may lay off 6,000: Tech grads will have to upscale skills to stay relevant, survive
Business

Cognizant may lay off 6,000: Tech grads will have to upscale skills to stay relevant, survive

Remain open to technological advances, be ready to adapt in order to remain relevant in the IT sector

Job cuts are a wider problem, not limited to Infosys, TechM; is Modi govt waking up to challenge?
Business

Job cuts are a wider problem, not limited to Infosys, TechM; is Modi govt waking up to challenge?

The pain of job losses is visible in other sectors as well. This makes Narendra Modi's task of employment generation a lot tougher.