Global ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday raised Tata Motors’ credit ratings to positive citing improved performance by auto maker’s premium brands Jaguar Land Rover.

The upgrade to ‘B+’ from ‘B’ comes few days after Tata Motors clocked a consolidated net profit of Rs. 1,988.73 crore for the quarter ended June 30 on the back of strong sales in the domestic market and good show by Jaguar and Land Rover.

“We raised the rating on Tata Motors to reflect the sustained improvement in the operating performance of JLR and the company’s India operations over the past year,” Standard and Poor’s (S&P) said in a statement.

The improvement in Tata Motors’ operating performance, along with the company’s debt reduction measures, has improved the company’s cash flow protection measures and liquidity position, it said.

S&P also raised the issue rating on the auto giant’s senior unsecured notes to ‘B+’ from ‘B’

The ‘B’ ratings refer to the entity being “more vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments” while a plus (+) or minus (—) show relative standing within the major rating categories.

“Tata Motors’ financial risk profile has improved, although it remains aggressive. Better operating performance and debt reduction measures aided the improvement in the company’s financial risk profile,” said.

During the last fiscal, Tata Motors’ consolidated net profit had touched Rs. 2,571.06 crore against Rs. 2,505.25 crore loss previous fiscal.

The auto giant had reported total sales of 6,67,971 units during 2009-10 against 5,06,421 units in the previous fiscal.

During the first quarter of this fiscal, Tata Motors reported a consolidated net profit of Rs. 1,988.73 crore as against a loss of Rs. 328.78 crore in the year-ago period.

In the domestic market, sales of passenger vehicles, including Fiat and Jaguar and Land Rover, grew by 56 per cent to 77,858 units, while domestic commercial vehicles sales during the first quarter grew 38.7 per cent to 100,186 units.

During the quarter, JLR business reported a profit before tax of 233.82 million pounds (Rs. 1,590.25 crore).

Wholesale volumes for JLR in the quarter were 57,153 units compared to 35,947 units in the year-ago period, while retail sales too improved favourably in the quarter.

“The positive rating outlook reflects our expectation that the company will maintain its improved operating performance, especially at JLR, thereby further improving its financial risk profile,” S&P said.

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