Tata Motors first-quarter loss nearly doubles, Jaguar Land Rover challenges continue

Tata Steel (File photo) Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Reuters Bengaluru, India Jul 25, 2019, 05.18 PM (IST)

Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata Motors Ltd on Thursday reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss that nearly doubled, as a slump in demand for cars continued at home, while plant shutdowns and delays due to Britain's planned exit from the European Union also hurt earnings.

India's biggest automaker by revenue said it lost 36.98 billion rupees ($535.93 million) in the quarter ended June 30, compared to a loss of 19.02 billion rupees a year ago. Revenue fell 7.7% to 608.30 billion rupees.

Analysts on an average expected Tata Motors to report a loss of 19.38 billion rupees in the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

The results "primarily reflect lower revenue resulting from the weaker market conditions," the company said in a statement.

Revenue from Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC, the company's biggest unit, fell 2.8% to 5.07 billion pounds ($6.34 billion).

The Indian auto sector has been plagued by slowing demand due to higher insurance costs and a credit squeeze in recent months, prompting many automakers such as the company's rival, Maruti Suzuki Ltd, to cut production on surging inventories.

Car sales indicate the broader economic consumption pattern, and Tata Motors is the first major automaker to report quarterly numbers, making it a key indicator for the industry's performance.

Passenger vehicle sales in June fell over 17%, data released by the industry's trade body earlier this month showed, resulting in an 18.4% fall for the first quarter as a whole.

Tata completed the $2.3 billion acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008, but the iconic British brand has been hit by a trend to move away from diesel cars, as well as political and trade uncertainty related to Brexit.

The company's shares closed down 4.6% in a broader NSE market that ended 0.17% lower.

Story highlights

India's biggest automaker by revenue said it lost 36.98 billion rupees ($535.93 million) in the quarter ended June 30. Revenue fell 7.7% to 608.30 billion rupees.