Tata Steel loss narrows to `1,168 cr as revenue improves

Tata Steel loss narrows to `1,168 cr as revenue improves
Tata Steel's consolidated net loss narrowed to Rs 1,168.02 crore for the quarter ended on March 31, 2017, driven by higher revenue from Indian as well as European operations.

The company had posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 3,041.88 crore for the year-ago quarter.

The consolidated revenue from operations increased to Rs 35,304.89 crore in January-March 2017, from Rs 27,071.26 crore in the same quarter of FY2015-16, Tata Steel said in a regulatory filing.

Shares of the company closed at Rs 457 apiece on BSE, up 0.27 per cent from the previous close.

"Tata Steel continued to outperform the market in this quarter as well. We recorded robust sales across all our target segments and our overall volumes stood at 3.21 million tonnes which was higher by 7 per cent sequentially," T V Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel India and South East Asia said in a statement.

The revenue from Indian operations rose to Rs 17,113 crore in the last quarter of 2016-17 from Rs 11,735 crore in the year-ago quarter.

It posted a net profit of Rs 1,414 crore from Indian operations for January-March 2017 against that of Rs 520 crore for the year-ago quarter.

The revenue from European operations increased to Rs 15,243 crore in the said quarter from Rs 12,982 crore in the year-ago period.

Narendran said the company is committed to investing in its customer relationships and marketing franchise to consolidate its position in India.

The company's focus on cost improvement initiatives and integrated operations helped Tata Steel to contain the impact of rising raw material prices, he said.

"Increasing emphasis for domestically manufactured steel in government projects coupled with renewed thrust on infrastructure, affordable housing and tax reforms are expected to be supportive for demand and margins," he said.

The company's Kalinganagar facility, which continues to ramp up smoothly, is well positioned to serve the expected increase in demand in FY 2017-18 and beyond, Narendran added.

"The consolidated EBITDA for Tata Steel Group was in excess of Rs 17,000 crore for the fiscal year 2017, which is the highest in the last six years," Koushik Chatterjee, Group Executive Director (Finance and Corporate) said. The ongoing transformation programme in the UK, performance improvements in India and the Netherlands contributed to the strong underlying performance, Chatterjee said.

The market support and favourable currencies also helped the business to achieve this significantly improved performance.

"The capex was lower than plan due to prioritisation of our capital expenditure programme and we have been able to keep the debt stable despite price related impact on working capital," Chatterjee added.

A significant milestone during the quarter was the completion of the consultation process and closure of the defined benefit scheme in the UK to future accruals. All employees in the UK can now opt into a defined contribution scheme, he said.

"Following the above, we are in positive discussions with the BSPS Trustee, the Pension Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund in relation to an RAA, and are hopeful of reaching final agreement shortly," Chatterjee added.


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