Tata Steel triples Q1 earnings on better India, Europe performance

The company's standalone net profit was more than double than its year ago period at Rs 1,415 crore against Rs 520 crore year on year.

"Benefits from exports that accrued helped the fourth quarter performance, and we expect to export over a million tonnes next year as well", TV Narendran, managing director, Tata Steel India told reporters. During Wednesday's trading session, Tata Steel shares jumped nine per cent to Rs 498.40.

Tata Steel has taken a step towards helping secure the future of its United Kingdom operations - including the Port Talbot works in south Wales - by reaching an outline agreement over the restructuring of its pension scheme. Regarding capex, the steelmaker finished a significant part of its Orissa project, which was the single largest part of the capacity expansion profile at Rs 6000 crore previous year. However, the company would be cautious in growing faster than the market, Chatterjee said.

The Tata Group firm narrowed its consolidated net loss to Rs 1,168 crore against a loss of Rs 3,042 crore posted during the same period past year.

The results are another sign of a marked pickup in India's steel sector, which had been hit by a global slowdown amid excess capacity.

JSW produced 15.8 million tonnes out of a total capacity of 18 million tonnes last year and is guiding for 16.50 million tonnes this year. The policy also looks towards spending more towards infrastructure and construction projects, which in turn will boost demand and increase utilization. The company will either expand its current plants or acquire debt-laden steel mills likely to be offloaded by Indian lenders eager to pare soured loans, Chatterjee said.

JSW Steel recorded a 39% growth in its consolidated income during the financial year 2016-17.

At the start of 2017, the company had commissioned the three blast furnaces (one each at Vijayanagar, Dolvi and Salem works) which were under shutdown for relining and modification.

The strong fourth quarter helped the business generate earnings of £526 million for the last 12 months, compared to a £52 million loss the year before, with stronger market conditions and tailwinds from the fall in the value of sterling, which makes British exports cheaper overseas.

The JSW scrip today closed at Rs 206.55, up 2.48 per cent, or Rs 5, after touching an intra-day, year-high of Rs 209.35 on the BSE.

Vanessa Coleman

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