Tata Steel fourth quarter net tanks 90pc to Rs433cr on Europe slump
Private steel producer Tata Steel reported a nearly 90 per cent plunge in consolidated net profit to Rs433.46 crore in the March quarter on slackening demand in Europe coupled with high raw material cost and low prices. Net profit of the company stood at Rs4,176 crore during the same period the previous fiscal mainly due to one-time gain of Rs2,280 crore from the sale of a plant in England. The company said, excluding this one-time gain in Q4 of FY11, the drop in net profit for the reporting period would have been only 77 per cent.
Europe accounts for two-thirds of sales and production for the world’s seventh-largest steelmaker with an annual capacity of about 28 million tonne. As the company battled the continued slump in its main market Europe, income, too, rose only marginally to Rs33,999 crore against Rs33,824 crore reported a year ago. “High raw material cost and volume impact hurt domestic operations. Steel demand in emerging markets increased but it dropped in Europe towards the end of the quarter on the back of the euro-zone crisis,” chief financial officer Koushik Chatterjee said.
He, however, said global steel demand will improve in the current fiscal with stable raw material prices. For the whole financial year, the country’s largest private sector steelmaker posted a 40 per cent drop in net profit to Rs5,389.77 crore compared to Rs8,982.69 crore in FY11. However, total income increased 11 per cent to Rs1,32,899.70 crore in the last financial year. Tata Steel also witnessed pressure on operating margin due to rise in coal prices and cost pressures coming from iron ore, general inflationary scenario and levies and hike in railway freight, managing director H. M. Nerurkar said.
While Ebitda margin on a consolidated basis decreased to 10.2 per cent in FY12 from 14.4 per cent in FY11, it was a similar story for Q4 with an Ebitda margin of 10.1 per cent against 14.1 per cent an year earlier. Referring to capital expenditure, Chatterjee said the company would invest close to $2.5 billion this fiscal, mainly for the Kalinganagar greenfield project in Odisha, alongside expansion at Jamshedpur. “The company’s net debt increased slightly to Rs47,697 crore with a debt, equity ratio of 1:1. Going ahead, we will try to maintain this ratio,” Chatterjee said.
About new projects, Nerurkar said: “The 3mt plant in Jamshedpur is going operational in phases and the entire capacity will be added by FY15 and the Odisha project is on track.” He also said that projects in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are yet to take up due to reasons like lack of approvals and prevailing political situations, among others.