Steel heavyweight Tata Steel on Tuesday reported a threefold jump in quarterly profit driven by higher steel prices and steady demand growth.
The Mumbai-based company posted a net profit of ₹3,116 crore for the quarter ended September, compared with ₹1,018 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
“Domestic demand has been decently strong, over the last one month there’s been some concerns over the NBFC issue, but otherwise for a seasonally weak quarter demand growth has been decent,” said T.V. Narendran, MD and CEO of the company, said at press conference after the results were announced.
He also said that although there has been some slowdown in auto demand growth, overall the fundamentals seem quite strong with the government’s push on infrastructure.
The company’s consolidated revenue from operations rose 34% year-on-year to ₹43,544 crore from ₹32,464 crore a year ago, while consolidated deliveries grew 15% and 13% sequentially to 7.42 million tonnes.
Tata Steel India’s deliveries, which includes Tata Steel standalone and Bhushan Steel, stood at 4.32 million tonnes. India deliveries now contribute 58% of the total group deliveries, the company said in a statement.
Speaking to the media, the management said that with Chinese imports coming down to a more comfortable level and the Indian government’s focus on infrastructure spending, the outlook for demand in the country was positive.
“Chinese demand has grown at 7% plus for the last eight months while their production has grown at around 6%. So China is exporting less,” Narendran said. He also said that overall macroeconomic conditions have supported growth.
“The trade war actions caused steel prices to rise up 20-25% in the U.S. within a short period of time. Good macro conditions and strong demand growth have reduced the impact of these trade war actions,” he said, adding that a weaker rupee has given some comfort against imports.
The management said that there have been some concerns over rising Turkish imports into the European Union, but the European Commission is taking steps and protections are in place.
When asked about the company’s bid for Bhushan Power and Steel, Narendran said that the process has been compromised. “If a process has been laid out it should be followed. We did that with Electrosteel Steels; we did not change our bid when someone else had a higher bid,” he said, adding that Tata Steel will stand by its earlier bid.
In August, JSW Steel had revised its bid for the debt-laden company before lenders voted on Tata Steel’s bid of ₹17,000 crore, changing it to ₹19,700 crore from ₹11,000 crore earlier.
On ArcelorMittal entering India, the management said it was ready to up the ante and compete with world class players and that the Indian industry will only benefit from global giants coming in as demand is only set to grow from here onward.
Tata Steel’s stock closed over a percent higher at ₹589.15 on the BSE on Tuesday ahead of the results.