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Sify has reported a net profit of Rs 2.3 crore ($0.5m) for the fourth quarter ended March 31, '04 . The profit has been aided by a one-time gain of Rs 6.3 crore ($1.5m) on the sale of shares of Wisden CricInfo.

The profit in the last quarter of the fiscal just ended has to be viewed against a loss of Rs 14.7 crore ($3.4m) in the corresponding period a year ago and a loss of Rs 10.2 crore ($2.4m) in the third quarter of the fiscal just ended.

The IT major's sales revenue of Rs 82.5 crore ($19m) was 36% higher when compared with the year-ago quarter and 16% higher compared with the Q3 figure. Sify reported a revenue of Rs 280 crore ($64.5m) for the whole fiscal, up 40% over Rs 199.5 crore ($46m) in the previous year.

The net loss was down at Rs 37.1 crore ($8.6m) from Rs 132.9 crore ($30.6m) in the previous year.

The company has generated $0.7m in cash from operations during Q4, against a capital expenditure of $2.6m. Sify ended Q4 with a cash balance of $33m and is debt-free. The cash burn for the full year was $2.5m after a capital expenditure of $8.4m.

The company's corporate services business contributed 53% to revenues in Q4, while the retail internet access division accounted for 39%. The interactive services generated revenues of $0.5m during the fourth quarter.

R Ramaraj, MD and CEO, Sify, said, "Our consistent growth across businesses has enabled us to achieve a 40% growth in revenues over the previous year, with cash profits for the full year and net profits for the last quarter. The company is now well poised to build on this performance in the coming year."

George Zacharias, president and COO, Sify, said, "Sify's turnaround continues with strong revenue growth, cash profits and clear leadership in our key business in India . Our endeavour will be to continue the growth of osur Indian business, while expanding overseas to provide remote IT services."

Sify's iWay cyber cafes increased to 1,725 in 63 cities with 12,000 PCs. Its broadband customers (home segment) have gone up to 23,000 in 15 cities.

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