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Tata Steel swings into black; posts Rs 7,162 cr net profit in March qtr

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New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) Tata Steel on Wednesday posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 7,161.91 crore for the quarter ended March 2021, mainly on account of higher income.

The company had reported a net loss of Rs 1,615.35 crore in the year ago quarter, Tata Steel said in a BSE filing.

During January-March 2021, the company's total income jumped to Rs 50,249.59 crore from Rs 37,322.68 crore earlier.

Total expenses rose to Rs 40,052 crore from Rs 35,432.42 crore in the January-March period of 2019-20.

On a standalone basis, Tata Steel reported a Rs 6,593.54 crore net profit during the January-March quarter.

The company had clocked a standalone net loss of Rs 436.83 crore in the year-ago period.

Its total income grew to Rs 21,392.34 crore from Rs 14,182.79 crore a year ago.

Tata Steel said its board has also recommended a dividend of Rs 25 per fully paid-up ordinary share of Rs 10 for the financial year ended March 31, 2021.

The dividend payout is subject to the approval of shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company scheduled for June 30, 2021.

In a separate statement, Tata Steel CEO and Managing Director T V Narendran said the first half of financial year 2021 was a challenging period with the uncertainties and complexities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian economy and domestic steel demand has been improving since then with accommodative policies, government spending and relaxation in mobility restrictions, he added.

Despite a slow start in first quarter, Tata Steel managed to deliver strong performance in India with broad-based, market-leading volume growth supported by its agile business model.

All segments, especially automotive, have performed extremely well due to continuous focus on building strong customer relationships, superior distribution network, brands and new product developments, he said.

Commenting on the second wave of COVID-19 in India, he said 'it is a risk and we are working to minimize the impact on our employees and communities while meeting the requirements of our customers. We continue to work on our strategic priorities to maximize shareholders value.' 'Work on the pellet plant and complex at Kalinganagar is progressing well. We have also restarted our 5 million tonne (Kalinganagar) expansion project which should be completed in FY24,' he added.

Tata Steel Executive Director and CFO Koushik Chatterjee said, 'The quarterly consolidated EBIDTA of Rs 14,290 crore and free cash flows after capex of about Rs 8,800 crores demonstrates the strength of the India business which had an EBIDTA margin of 41 per cent.' 'We have reduced our gross debt by over Rs 20,000 crores during the quarter and full year de-leveraging was about Rs 28,000 crore. As a result, the year-end net debt was Rs 75,389 crores which is 28 per cent lower compared to the previous year end,' he added.

He further said Tata Steel aims to reduce the debt levels by more than a billion dollars in the current fiscal and also enhance the capital allocation to complete the 5 MT expansion in Kalinganagar.

During the January-March 2021 period, Tata Steel's consolidated steel output was at 8.02 million tonnes (MT), higher from 7.90 MT in the year-ago period.

Deliveries were at 7.83 MT as against 7.06 MT in January-March of 2019-20 fiscal. PTI ABI ABM ABM