MUMBAI Tata Steel Ltd reported its first profit in five quarters on Tuesday helped by higher sales of industrial products and steel for the auto sector and a rise in exports despite India's surprise ban on high-value currency notes which hurt several sectors.
Tata reported a consolidated net profit of 2.32 billion rupees ($34.4 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, the company said in a statement, beating street estimates of 1.74 billion.
That compared with a loss of 27.48 billion rupees a year earlier.
Revenue rose 14 percent to 293.92 billion rupees.
"Tata Steel recorded strong sales this quarter as the strength of our franchise helped us counter headwinds
due to de-monetisation," T.V. Narendran, managing director of Tata Steel India and South East Asia, said in a statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ban on old 500 and 1000 rupee bills deflated businesses across India.
Tata Steel, which also has operations in Europe, said its UK subsidiary had reached an agreement with trade unions to progress towards closing a pension scheme.
The sale of Tata Steel's British Port Talbot plant, which has been hit by huge losses and massive pension liabilities, was halted last year.
Tata Steel UK will negotiate with Liberty House Group for the potential sale of its speciality steels business for an enterprise value of 100 million pounds ($123.7 million), the statement said.
($1 = 67.4200 Indian rupees)
($1 = 0.8087 pounds)
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jason Neely)