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Corporate Feb 13, 2013

Tata Steel Q3 net loss jumps by 27% to Rs 763 cr

Mumbai: Tata Steel's consolidated net loss has gone up by 26.61 percent to Rs 763.06 crore in the October-December quarter as weak steel demand, particularly in the European markets, squeezed margins and led to decline in sales.

The Tata group company had reported a net loss of Rs 602.67 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Consolidated net sales of the company went down by 3.47 per cent to Rs 31,821.50 crore during the quarter vis-a-vis Rs 32964.15 crore of the Q3 of FY12.

Loss for Tata Steel. Reuters

Loss for Tata Steel. Reuters

"EBIDTA was a loss for this quarter primarily on account of the price-cost squeeze. The level of selling prices are declining much more than the decrease in the raw material prices that happened this quarter. The demand contraction in Europe is very significant, even structurally," Tata Steel's Group CFO Koushik Chatterjee said in a conference call.

Tata Steel's net realisations declined by 3 per cent to $1,000 per tonne during the quarter, he said, adding that "the slide as far as the market is concerned is been much more severe to make out any visible impact as far as the bottom line is concerned. I don't think there is any magic bullet in
this whole challenge (to tide over the crisis)".

The company's EBITDA (earnings before income, tax, depreciation and amortisation) loss from European operations during the October-December quarter stood at Rs 428 crore ($78 million) compared to the EBITDA loss of Rs 781 crore ($142 million) in Q3 FY12.

Besides, its steel deliveries declined nearly 10 percent to 3.02 million tonnes in the Q3 FY13 from European operations.

Chatterjee also said Tata Steel earned 100 million GBP in the first nine months of the fiscal by divesting non-core assets at its European operations.

Moreover, Tata Steel's net profit from Indian operations was down 26.28 percent to Rs 1,046.39 crore in the quarter as compared to a net profit of Rs 1421.26 crore of the Q3 of FY12.

The Indian operations were impacted largely due to 5.79 percent increase in interest burden at Rs 509 crore and 82 percent decline in other income, which stood at Rs 35.72 crore in the quarter.

However, net sales from Indian operations rose by 11.60 percent to Rs 9,268.19 crore in the quarter vis-a-vis Rs 8,304.58 crore of the third quarter of the previous fiscal as steel deliveries rose by 16.67 per cent to 1.89 million tonnes.

Talking about Jamshedpur plant, which is under process of being expanded by additional 3 million tonnes (MT) to 10 MT, Chatterjee said that by March, Tata Steel will achieve "its rated capacity" as most of the major facilities have been ramped up.

The company will also be raising about Rs 12,000-13,000 crore in next six months for the first phase of its upcoming 6 MT Kalinganagar plant in Odisha, Chatterjee said.

As on December, 2012, Tata Steel had a net debt of Rs 57,981 crore ($10.546 billion).

Giving his outlook for the short to medium term, he said that domestic steel market has slowed down considerably due to slow down in industrial activities, particularly in infrastructure projects.

"That raises some concerns for sure... However, we believe that structurally, India still has significant potential for steel growth. From demand growth perspective, with lowering of interest rate which has happened, we see that growth in steel demand should track the GDP," he added.

PTI

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