Tata Steel profit halves, in talks for sale of Dutch unit

Firm reports Q2 net of ₹1,665.07 crore.

Tata Steel on Friday said its consolidated net profit declined about 50% to ₹1,665.07 crore in the September quarter, from ₹3,302.31 a year earlier.

Total income rose to ₹37,376.13 crore, from ₹34,762.73 crore, Tata Steel said in a BSE filing.

In a separate statement, Tata Steel said it had initiated discussions with Sweden-based SSAB on potential sale of the Tata Steel Netherlands business, including Ijmuiden steelworks.

Tata Steel said it had also initiated the process to separate Tata Steel Netherlands and Tata Steel U.K. and will pursue separate strategic paths for the Netherlands and the U.K. businesses in the future.

Tata Steel CEO and MD T.V. Narendran said, “Tata Steel has delivered strong results in India with broad-based, market-leading volume growth and strong cash flow generation.”

He added that the resilience of the firm’s business model and the commitment of its teams have enabled it to ramp up capacity utilisation to normal levels and achieve highest-ever sales, despite the ongoing challenges due to the COVID pandemic

On the business in Europe, he said in Europe, though the overall environment remains challenging and recovery is more gradual, there has been an improvement in volumes and sales.

The company is in discussions with the UK government regarding the future strategy of its UK business, he said.

Tata Steel Executive Director and CFO Koushik Chatterjee said that despite the pandemic, the company has delivered one of the best quarterly results in India in recent times. “This was driven by relentless focus on operating performance and a reduction in our cash costs by almost 14 % on a quarter on quarter basis.”

India operations, he said, generated an Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of ₹6,025 crore during July-September 2020. The Ebitda during the same quarter of the previous financial year was at ₹ 4,033 crore, according to company data.

In India, Tata Steel is moving on the consolidation and the corporate simplification process, with the announcement today (Friday) of the merger of Tata Metaliks and Indian Steel and Wire products into Tata Steel Long Products, he said.

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