China demand narrows Tata Motors losses

INDIAN automaker Tata Motors reported Friday (25) narrowed losses as growing demand in China for Jaguar Land Rover offset dire conditions in its home market, beating analyst predictions.

The company which owns Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) lost Rs 2.17 billion (£23.90 million) in the three months to September, down from a loss of Rs 10.49bn in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenues dipped by nine per cent. The heavily indebted company has now suffered losses in five of the last six quarters. In the June-ended quarter, it had lost Rs 36.99bn (£407.43m).

“Jaguar Land Rover has improved its performance this quarter and delivered a well-rounded performance. In particular, the improvement in China on the back of better operational metrics is reassuring,” Tata Motors said.

Tata said its British arm JLR reported a pre-tax profit of £156m and sold 134,489 units, up by 2.9 per cent.

Tata shares had spiked almost 15 per cent last week on hopes of an orderly British exit from the European Union. Britain, the EU and China are JLR’s key markets.

But with India’s automobile sales down for the 11th-straight month in September, chief executive Guenter Butschek said the entire domestic industry was suffering.

“Growth continues to be impacted by subdued growth, higher capacity from the new axle load norms, liquidity stress, low freight availability, weak consumer sentiment and general economic slowdown,” Butschek said.

Other Indian firms are also suffering from problems in the world’s second-most populous country, with thousands of jobs cut in the sector.

Maruti Suzuki on Thursday (24) reported a 39.4 per cent fall in its quarterly profits and a 24.3 per cent plunge in revenues despite slashing prices for several models.

On Wednesday (23), India’s Bajaj Auto reported a jump in its quarterly profits but its revenues fell by four percent.

Shares of Tata Motors were down almost five per cent in Mumbai as markets closed.