[Ferro-Alloys.com] Tata Steel’s debt seems even more daunting as earnings are crimped at India’s oldest manufacturer of the primary infrastructure alloy.
In the June quarter, earnings halved at Tata Steel, paced by its European business. Debt to annualised EBIDTA, a ratio widely used to check the ability to meet debt obligations, has shot up to 4.7 times. It was near 3.2 times for FY19. Anything above 4 is considered risky.
For the June quarter, consolidated net profit dropped 63 per cent to Rs 702 crore. Adjusted EBIDTA fell 22 per cent to Rs 5,530 crore. EBIDTA margins stood at 15.4 per cent against 19.8 per cent last year. Sales deliveries grew 5 per cent to 6.34 million tonnes; however, revenues grew by a mere 1 per cent due to lower realisations. These numbers were below analyst expectations.
The company also announced the termination of its joint venture with HBIS for its Southeast Asian subsidiary. Its JV with Thyssenkrupp for the European business was also called off, keeping the balance sheet highly levered.
Management commentary on the current economic situation too lacked optimism, indicating no immediate signs of revival in the business. Tata Steel also said it will trim capex plans.
“During the quarter, steel prices across geographies declined with weakening economic activities and uncertainty around the ongoing US-China trade conflict. This coincided with a sharp rise in iron ore prices due to supply disruptions and elevated coking coal costs. As a result, steel spreads dropped in key markets,” the company said.
“In India, steel prices declined as subdued economic activity, seasonal slowdown and liquidity issues weighed on domestic consumption. Higher net imports further exacerbated the demand-supply balance. In Europe, the steel industry faces significant headwinds in terms of lower economic growth, uncertainty around Brexit and the trade conflict,” the management said, adding that the second quarter has also been weak. The management said that while the spreads will remain low, it will look at other margin-enhancing levers including tightening of working capital, capacity expansion and costs.
India and Europe remain the key geographies for the company. In India, sales volumes were up 16 per cent. The slowdown in autos was countered by other segments. In Europe, volumes dropped 8 per cent. However, operating profit margins dropped sharply, resulting in an operating profit of a mere Rs 62 crore. (economictimes.indiatimes)
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