India's Tata Steel Ltd. (IW 1000/169), the world's seventh-largest steelmaker, said its quarterly net profit slumped a worse-than-expected 89% from a year earlier due to falling demand in its key European market.
Steelmakers around the world have been suffering from a slowdown in demand as industrial growth loses pace in emerging economies such as India and China and expansion remains sluggish in advanced western economies.
Tata Steel reported a consolidated net profit of nearly 6 billion rupees ($108 million) for the financial first quarter to the end of June, down from 53.5 billion rupees a year earlier.
Turnover edged up 2% to 335 billion rupees.
Analysts had expected the firm to post a profit of close to 7 billion rupees.
Europe accounts for around two-thirds of sales and production for the steelmaker, which has an annual capacity of some 28 million tons.
Tata Steel, part of the sprawling Tata Group conglomerate, became one of the world's biggest steelmakers after purchasing Anglo-Dutch company Corus for $13.7 billion in 2007. Corus was rebranded as Tata Steel in September 2010.
Domestic growth in India is slowing as industrial output in Asia's third-largest economy shrank by 1.8% in June, data showed this month, with manufacturing activity falling 3.2% from a year earlier.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012