Business

Tata Steel slides to a Q4 loss

Revenue drops 20% to ₹33,770 crore; company declares 100% dividend

Tata Steel’s consolidated net loss for the fourth quarter widened to ₹1,236 crore from a ₹1,166 crore loss in the third quarter and compared to a profit of ₹2,353 crore in the year-earlier period as the COVID-19 pandemic affected its local and overseas operations.

Revenue slumped 20% to ₹33,770 crore in the quarter.

On a standalone basis, the company reported a net loss of ₹563 crore compared with a net profit of ₹2,309 crore in the year-earlier period.

Challenging year

“FY20 has been a challenging year,” said T.V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel.

“The Indian economy slowed down in the first half with key steel consuming sectors like automotive contracting sharply,” said Mr. Narendran. “While the economy began recovering in the second half, the outbreak of COVID-19 in end March led to an unprecedented disruption and heightened economic uncertainty. We have recalibrated our operations in line with the evolving business environment and are focused on conserving cash while actively de-risking the business,” he added.

The board has recommended a dividend of ₹10 per ordinary share of ₹10 each and ₹2.504 per partly paid ordinary share of ₹10 each (paid-up ₹2.504 per share) for the financial year 2019-20.

‘Conserving cash’

Tata Steel had net debt in excess of ₹1,04,000 crore as on March 31, 2020.

“Given the heightened uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are focused on conserving cash and ensuring adequate liquidity to face potential disruptions in the operating environment,” said Koushik Chatterjee, executive director and CFO, Tata Steel.

Reducing expenditure

“We have pivoted business decisions on cash flows and successfully driven cash neutrality in our operations by reducing spend, managing working capital and curtailing capital expenditure,” Mr. Chatterjee added.

“We have also raised additional funds of ₹4,900 crore to build a contingency buffer. Our liquidity at the end of the year remained robust at ₹17,745 crore, including cash and cash equivalents of ₹11,549 crore.”

Ahead of the results, Tata Steel shares declined 0.8% on the BSE to ₹321.25 in a weak Mumbai market on Monday, valuing the company at ₹36,812 crore.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 12:39:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/tata-steel-slides-to-a-q4-loss/article31948301.ece

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