February 8, 2019 / 11:09 AM / 3 months ago

Tata Steel third-quarter standalone profit soars on robust production

(Reuters) - Tata Steel Ltd reported an 83.6 percent surge in third-quarter standalone net profit on Friday, aided by robust domestic production.

A company logo is seen outside the Tata steelworks near Rotherham in Britain, in this March 30, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Standalone profit came in at 24.56 billion rupees ($344.94 million) compared with 13.38 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier, the steelmaker said.

According to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv, analysts on average had expected a profit of 25.40 billion rupees.

On a consolidated basis, the company posted a net profit of 22.84 billion rupees. However, the numbers were not comparable due to its recent acquisition of Tata Steel BSL Limited (formerly Bhushan Steel Ltd)

In May last year, the firm, one of the flagship companies of the giant salt-to-software Tata Group bought a 72.7 percent stake in Bhushan Steel Ltd which was in bankruptcy court.

This was the company’s first major acquisition after Britain’s Corus, now called Tata Steel Europe.

The company has struck a deal with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp to combine its UK business into a joint venture with the German giant.

This would allow Tata Steel to cut debt at the group level and bring focus back to India through acquisitions, Tata Steel Chairman N Chandrasekaran had said in July.

The company plans to double its capacity in India in five years.

“Despite a sharp drop in international steel prices, we were able to maintain overall realizations and increase volumes significantly in India.” Chief Executive Officer T V Narendran said.

Local Indian producers are suffering from a double whammy of a rise in cheap imports and low domestic steel prices, which threaten to wipe out healthy profits they have clocked in recent years.

Analysts have said that due to pressure on steel prices, the third quarter could be the last good quarter for steelmakers before a long period of muted growth.

Consolidated steel production rose 11 percent year on year, while steel production in India surged 34 percent, the Mumbai headquartered company said.

($1 = 71.2000 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan/Keith Weir

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