Tata Steel India reports Rs. 411 cr profit for Q1 FY21

Bhubaneswar: Tata Steel India’s profit after tax from continuing operations for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 stood at Rs. 411 crore as compared to Rs. 1,570 crore of the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year. On a standalone basis, Tata Steel reported a net profit of Rs 1,193.27 crore for the quartered ended June 30, 2020, as compared to Rs 1,538.99 crore of the corresponding quarter a year ago. This performance is despite a challenging quarter amidst the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Turnover for the quarter stood at Rs. 12,689 crore during the June 2020 quarter as compared to Rs. 21,129 crore of the same period last fiscal.

India numbers consist of Tata Steel Standalone, Tata Steel BSL Limited (TSBSL) and Tata Steel Long Products Limited (TSLP) on proforma basis without inter-company.

Tata Steel India and its key subsidiaries have successfully countered the closure of the domestic market during the lockdown period by leveraging its global network and exporting more than 1.46 million tons during the quarter. This also limited the decline in our India steel deliveries to 27% QoQ as compared to the 55% QoQ drop in overall India steel demand.

T. V. Narendran, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Steel, said: “During the quarter, we recalibrated our operations and our sales across geographies in line with underlying regulatory and market conditions. While this had an adverse impact on our volumes and our margins, we were successful in mitigating the impact as we pivoted the business towards export markets and successfully generated free cashflows despite adverse market conditions.

Economic activity is gradually recovering. In India, we have ramped-up our capacity utilisations to 90% levels with total sales in June exceeding FY20 average monthly sales. We are further ramping up capacity utilisation and increasing domestic sales which will lead to an improvement in our margins in coming quarters. In Europe, spreads are at unsustainably low levels but are expected to improve going forward. We are also engaged with respective governments in UK and Netherlands for their support.

While the risk of further COVID-19 outbreaks remains, we are cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us. We continued to remain extremely focused on cashflows and liquidity management through this crisis.”

Koushik Chatterjee, Executive Director and CFO, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel responded very swiftly to the pandemic in April and despite the national lock down in India, the company remained focus on its cash flow management to generate a free cash flow quarter and maintained its net debt at the March 2020 level. This was achieved through cross functional co-ordination and cash war room initiatives covering fixed cost reduction, working capital management through better inventory management, focus on debtors, working with suppliers and other initiatives. This enabled the company to generate free cash flow of Rs.700 crores post capex and other obligations. Even in a challenging quarter the company has generated a 14% EBIDTA margin at standalone level and a positive EBIDTA at consolidated level.
Tata Steel Europe performance was affected by lower deliveries and sharp decline in European spreads to an unsustainably low level. As a result, our consolidated adjusted EBITDA dropped to Rs.1,038 crores.
During the quarter, we raised Rs.5,935 crores of long-term debt and further extended our maturity profile. Given the heightened economic uncertainty, we have ramped up our liquidity buffer to Rs.20,144 crores which we will deploy to deleverage as business conditions normalize. The company will continue to focus on manage for free cash flows for the rest of the year with structural interventions on cost take out, working capital and lower capex as guided earlier.”

Tata Steel’s operating level has recovered to 90% by end June 2020 and has since then increased further to 95%, catering to both domestic and export customers. With the improvement in the domestic market, Tata Steel has been reducing its exports ratio. The price outlook in both export and domestic market continues to improve on month on month basis and the current quarter demand has been much better than a typically slow monsoon quarter in the past.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, Tata Steel’s immediate focus was on the health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we operate. Tata Steel has taken significant steps in building Covid-19 ready medical capacity with more than 1,000 beds and state of the art facilities across its locations in India. The company continues to focus on running its operations safely and efficiently to service its customers.

India average steel realizations were lower due to the COVID impact during the quarter Despite the drop in margins, there was a reduction in net debt of Rs.1,677 crores in India, including a reduction of Rs.577 crores and Rs.291 crores, respectively at Tata Steel BSL and Tata Steel Long Products.

Tata Steel Europe performance was affected with the overall weakness in economic activities in Europe and sharp drop in spreads. The company did receive short support from the UK and Netherlands Government including cash flow deferrals of payables.

To preserve cash flows and focus on disciplined capital allocation, the company has curtailed growth capex for this year and the focus is primarily on safety environment and sustenance capital expenditure.

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