Tata Steel registers Rs364-cr loss as demand slumps

Tata Steel has reported a net loss of Rs363.9 crore for fiscal second quarter (July-September) as against a profit of Rs212 crore during the year-ago quarter thanks to lower average steel prices, increased input costs, and a weak European market. The consolidated results include Tata Steel Europe Ltd, formerly Corus.

The Tata Group firm had posted a net profit of Rs598 crore in the April-June 2012 quarter.

''There was an average decline of up to $29 per tonne in the last quarter in steel prices and Europe witnessed a decline of $120 per tonne, which led to the fall in profitability for the second quarter,'' said Koushik Chatterjee, group chief financial officer of Tata Steel.

He said this led to a decline in per-tonne realisations but eroded operating profit per tonne, besides generating only a marginal increase in revenues.

The company posted consolidated revenue of Rs34,133 crore in the quarter against Rs32,798 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal; up a mere 4.1 per cent year-on-year.

It posted a 19 per cent drop in second quarter consolidated operating profit at Rs2,453 crore, down from Rs3,021 crore last fiscal.