Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Tata Motors cuts profit margin outlook over JLR's Brexit, China woes

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Russell Knight | 10 February, 2019, 05:45

In the three-month period, sales increased for the new Jaguar E-PACE and the electric Jaguar I-PACE as well as the refreshed Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, while the slowdown in China accounted largely for lower sales of other models.

"We are now taking clear and decisive actions in JLR to step up its competitiveness, reduce costs and improve cash flows and make the business fit for the future", Balaji told reporters on a conference call.

Tata Motors' overseas woes have finally come home to roost, and how!

Sales in China fell 47% y-o-y last quarter offsetting 21% and 18.4% increase in North America and the United Kingdom respectively.

Ralf Speth, JLR's chief executive, said: "Jaguar Land Rover reported strong third-quarter sales in the United Kingdom and North America but our overall performance continued to be impacted by challenging market conditions in China".

Its net profit during the quarter under review rose to Rs 617.62 crore from Rs 211.59 crore reported for the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

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While Tata Motors has announced plans to turn around JLR, the slide in the unit's sales has continued for now with retail sales in China falling almost 50 per cent during the quarter ending December 31.

JLR's Chinese sales, which account for roughly one-in-seven of its global sales, fell 40 per cent year-on-year, which offset growth in the USA and British markets. "With these interventions, we are building Tata Motors group to deliver strong results in the medium term". Tata Motors said it will continue to invest in exciting products and leading edge technologies.

"Tata Motors has bitten the bullet", Ajay Bodke, the Mumbai-based head of investment strategy at Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt Ltd said by phone.

Tata Motors turned in a third-quarter loss of 269.93 billion rupees ($3.8 billion) on Thursday, more than half its current market capitalization of $6.1 billion, mostly due to a massive impairment at JLR. This is expected to result in a one-time exceptional redundancy cost of around £200m.

The company is in track with investment in electrification with Electric Drive Units to be produced at the Engine Manufacturing Centre and a new Battery Assembly Centre to be established in the United Kingdom, it added. They are down 52% in the past year on concerns about Jaguar Land Rover's waning sales, profitability and high capital-expenditure requirements. The new Land Rover Defender will be revealed later this year.

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