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Tata Motors profit in slow lane

Mumbai, May 29: Tata Motors today lagged analysts’ estimates with consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2014 declining to Rs 3,918.29 crore compared with Rs 3,945.47 crore in the same period of last year.

Analysts had expected the company to post a net profit of around Rs 4,500 crore.

On a standalone basis, Tata Motors’ loss widened to Rs 817 crore in the fourth quarter from Rs 312 crore in the same period of last year.

The decline in bottomline came on the back of difficult conditions in domestic operations and forex loss.

“Sustained deceleration in economic growth, high inflation, higher fuel prices, reduced availability of finance and an elevated interest rate regime continued to impact the demand for the entire auto industry in general and commercial vehicles in specific,” Tata Motors said in a statement.

At the consolidated level, the car maker has been able to offset the domestic conditions because of a strong show by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

For the quarter under review, the British arm posted a net profit of 449 million against 377 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues grew nearly 6 per cent to 5.35 billion over 5.05 billion in the corresponding quarter last year.

JLR’s operating margin rose 100 basis points to 17.2 per cent on account of a richer product and geographic mix and increased volumes in emerging markets.

In the domestic market, sales of commercial and passenger vehicles declined 33 per cent during the quarter.

Standalone revenue declined to Rs 8,545 crore in the quarter under review from Rs 11,068 crore a year ago. The consolidated revenue grew 16.6 per cent to Rs 65,317 crore from Rs 56,002 crore in the same quarter last year.

For the full 2013-14 fiscal, the auto major’s profit rose 41.4 per cent to Rs 13,991 crore from Rs 9,893 crore in 2012-13. Consolidated revenue for 2013-14 stood at Rs 2,32,834 crore, up 23.3 per cent from Rs 1,88,793 crore last fiscal.

The commercial vehicle industry saw a sharp dip in the sales of both medium and commercial vehicles (25 per cent fall) and light commercial vehicles (21 per cent) in the last fiscal.

C. Ramakrishnan, president and chief financial officer, expressed hope that with a stable government at the Centre and expectations of strong push to infrastructure projects, automobile sales could improve from the second half of this year.

The company is now focusing on exports. Ramakrishnan said the company had entered Philippines in this quarter and planned to venture into Malaysia and Vietnam.

 
 
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