Tata Steel rules out EU assets sale
New Delhi, May 24, 2013
India's Tata Steel Limited said it expected to take no further charges in Europe and has put no European assets up for sale, following a $1.6 billion writedown for the region in the past financial year due to weak demand.
The company reported its third straight quarterly loss yesterday, which could lead to pressure for further cost cuts and closures, especially in its older plants in Britain.
Two-thirds of Tata Steel's 27 million tonne annual capacity is in Europe, where demand has fallen by almost a third since 2007. Various media reports have said it is exploring a sale of some of the assets.
"At this time, we have no business which is on the table," chief financial officer Koushik Chatterjee said. "But if there are opportunities or our strategy is different, it can happen."
"Severely depressed" conditions in Europe are expected to continue over the short to medium term, the company said in an earlier statement.
Its January-March net loss was Rs65.29 billion ($1.2 billion), compared with a Rs4.33 billion profit a year earlier. Net sales rose about one per cent to Rs341.8 billion for the fourth quarter.
Analysts had expected profit of 3.64bn rupees on sales of 350.16bn rupees, according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.-Reuters