Industryweek 7205 Tata Steel India

India Tata Steel Q1 Profit Dives, but Europe Improves

Aug. 13, 2014
India's Tata Steel reports that quarterly group net profit slid a bigger-than-expected 70%, but its European operations are picking up.

NEW DELHI -- Indian giant Tata Steel (IW 1000/183) reported Wednesday that quarterly group net profit slid a bigger-than-expected 70%, hit by one-off charges, but added that its European operations were picking up.

Despite a "healthy improvement across geographies," Tata Steel, India's biggest steel producer, said the performance was not enough to overcome one-time costs that pushed earnings sharply lower than financial market forecasts.

For the company's fiscal first quarter, which ended June 39, net profit slid to 3.37 billion rupees ($55 million), from 11.39 billion rupees a year earlier, on sales that climbed 11% to 364.27 billion rupees.

The earnings undershot estimates by analysts who had forecast the steelmaker would post net profit of just over 9 billion rupees.

Last month Tata Steel announced the elimination of 400 jobs at its plant at Port Talbot in Wales, and Kohler said the company would keep trimming costs.

In India, with the new right-wing government elected in May announcing measures to put the economy back on the growth track, the business outlook has brightened, said Koushik Chatterjee, group executive finance director.

"However," he added, "we expect visible changes in the economy to flow through only on the back of higher government spending over the next few months."

Tata Steel's earnings come as ArcelorMittal (IW 1000/43), the world's biggest steelmaker, said earlier this month that it had hiked U.S. and European demand forecasts.

By Penelope MacRae

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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