Tata Motors on Tuesday reported a consolidated loss of Rs 1,863 crore for the three months to June, the auto manufacturer’s second-biggest quarterly loss since December 2008. A big chunk of the loss emanated from a foreign exchange loss during the quarter of Rs 1,007 crore.
While analysts had flagged a disappointing performance from Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR), the overseas subsidiary turned in much poorer numbers than anticipated, posting a loss of £210 million on the back of a 7% year-on-year fall in volumes and a contraction in Ebit (earnings before interest and tax) margins of nearly 500 basis points. Consolidated revenues in Q1FY19 rose a reasonably good 12% year-on-year to Rs 67,081 crore.
Tata Motors is now the worst-performing stock in the Nifty in 2018 having lost 38.8% against the Nifty’s gain of 7.8%. In 2017, the stock had given up 8.5%. The luxury car maker’s volumes were impacted in China and Europe; the management said in a release a proposed duty cut in China had kept consumers away while uncertainty over Brexit and taxes on diesel hit sales in the UK. Additionally, there was a planned stock reduction with dealers in Q1.
The automaker’s Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin came in at 7.5% with the consolidated Ebitda during the quarter at Rs 5,430.66 crore.
PB Balaji, chief financial officer, Tata Motors, said on a call with mediapersons, the company’s profitability target for 2018-19 was being maintained at 4-7%. Balaji said the first quarter was always the weakest for JLR and the company was confident of a better performance from here on with a full range coming in from JLR.
“The duty in China, due to which customers postponed their sales, was unexpected and moreover we had a planned de-stocking,” Balaji said.
He said retail demand continues to be strong at 6% and that the UK market was coming back. Balaji said the company was not expecting a dramatic depreciation in currency.
Tata Motors’ standalone performance was good coming off a weak base of Q1FY18. Cost reduction efforts delivered improved profits in both commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle businesses.
During the quarter, wholesale sales (including exports) grew 59% to 176,868 units with growth across the entire portfolio on a low base. In the domestic market medium and heavy commercial vehicles grew 111%, light commercial vehicles over 73%, small commercial vehicles and pick-ups over 57% and commercial vehicles (passenger) over 31%. Passenger vehicle were up 50%. Commercial vehicles’ growth reflects launch of new products and higher economic activities due to improved industrial activity, robust demand in private consumption and government spending on infrastructure. The Nexon, Tiago and Tigor models continued to deliver strong growth.
Tata Motors’ net debt stood at Rs 62,436 crore as on June 30, 2018, a good 56% up from Rs 39,977 crore as on March 31, 2018, reflecting negative free cash flow at both Tata Motors and JLR with continued high investments. Net automotive debt stood at Rs 32,977 crore versus Rs 13,889 crore as on March 31, 2018.