Tata Motors on Wednesday posted its third consecutive drop in net profit on the back of declining local sales volumes even as its marquee British arm JLR turned in a better performance in the quarter.
The company’s consolidated net profit fell 23 percent to Rs 1,726 crore in the three months ended June 30 from 2,244.91 crore a year earlier, Tata Motors said in a filing to the BSE. Net sales rose 8.3 percent to about Rs 46,785 crore.
Jaguar Land Rover came to the rescue of parent Tata Motors, posting an almost 29 percent increase in profit to 304 million pounds, while revenue climbed 12.6 percent to 4.12 billion pounds in the June quarter.
Total dividend stood at Rs 1,537 crore, of which almost Rs 1,500 crore came from JLR. In the year-ago period, dividend from subsidiaries stood at Rs 253 crore.
Tata Motors shares fell 2.96 percent to Rs 278.85 at the close on the BSE Wednesday.
The numbers come amid a weak operating environment in the domestic business with falling sales, offset by higher sales of JLR brands on the back of a richer product mix and favourable foreign exchange at the overseas unit, group Chief Financial Officer C Ramakrishnan told reporters here this evening.
He blamed falling profit on “weak macroeconomic environment and competitive pressures on pricing, which continued to impact the operations during the quarter.”
“Margins will continue to be under pressure for the industry in general,” Ramakrishnan said. “Margins will be under sustained pressure this year” as the domestic auto industry is operating at lower levels of capacity utilisation.
On a standalone basis, Tata Motors’ car sales fell 19 percent to 1,54,352 units in the quarter and revenue dipped 14 percent to Rs 9,104.5 crore from Rs 10,586 crore.
Ramakrishnan said planned capex will be on course as product development process has to continue.
On stand alone basis, Tata Motors reported a net profit of Rs 703.3 crore against Rs 205.3 crore a year ago, boosted by huge other income of Rs 1,620.55 crore that included dividend from JLR and others subsidiaries.
Ramakrishnan said this is the second dividend payout by JLR.
Revenue from Tata and other brand vehicles, excluding JLR, stood at Rs 11,152.09 crore against Rs 11,850.33 crore.
JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said, “We have a huge demand from all over the world for our vehicles. China market is still growing…We target to sell about 100,000 cars this year in China and this is an ambitious target, but we are on track.”
On the impact of the rupee fall, Ramakrishna said on a consolidated basis, the forex loss stood Rs 179 crore during quarter as against loss of Rs 440 crore in the year-ago period.
JLR’s wholesale and retail sales grew 8.6 percent and 10.4 percent to 90,620 units and 94,719 units, respectively.
Speth said the sales were boosted by strong response to its new products like the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport and powertrain options.
President of commercial vehicles business unit Ravi Pisharody said, “We are in the middle of a slowdown. It has been a fairly long period of slowdown. We have seen slowdowns before also, but the difference this time it’s more prolonged.”
He also added that there are no green shoots visible, despite the fact that its market share in the heavy vehicles space rose nearly 4 percent in the quarter.
Passenger car business head Ranjit Yadav said initial impact of HirozoNext strategy, launched mid-June under which the company is trying to win back lost market share by increasing sales poitns and post-sales service, has been good, but it is too early to quantify.
He further said the company will be launching more and more models soon but did not put a timeline.
He evaded a direct answer on price hike saying “we had said we don’t rule out a price hike, but we are yet to take decision on it”.