Indian steel conglomerate Tata Steel lost more than £1 million a day in the UK last year, according to the company’s annual report.
The Indian steelmaker, which runs the UK’s largest steelworks at Port Talbot in south Wales, lost £371 million in Britain in the financial year until March end this year as a result of lower production.
The losses mark a hike from £222 million a year earlier, according to The Sunday Times.
As per the annual report, the company’s turnover from its UK plant rose 1 per cent to 2.4 million pounds, but the production fell from 3.6 million tons to 3.2 million after one of the two blast furnaces was shut down for maintenance.
Tata Steel spent £56 million during the year to extend the furnace’s life by up to seven years.
“The losses for Tata Steel UK, disclosed in its annual report, come as the industry struggles to forge a future,” the newspaper report said.
“Tata has spent the past few years unwinding its top-of-the-market £6.2 billion takeover of Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus in 2007,” it adds.
The Tata Group employs 8,500 staff in its UK steel business. The company’s hopes for a turnaround in fortunes for its European arm with a merger with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp collapsed in May this year, after it was blocked by the European Commission on competition grounds.
While admitting that the proposed JV was an important strategic initiative for the company to create a sustainable portfolio in Europe, Tata Steel had stressed that it would explore all options to achieve similar outcomes in the future.
“Our strategy is to be the leading and most sustainable flat steel company in Europe with a strong focus on delivering value, especially for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.
“This strategy will continue to guide us and I’m confident we will chart a strong path forward for all our stakeholders,” Hans Fischer, CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, had said at the time.
Tata Steel is one of Europe’s leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the Netherlands and the UK, and manufacturing plants across Europe.
The company says it supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering.
A few years ago in 2016 amid ongoing strains on the worldwide steel industry, Tata Steel had sold British Steel to Greybull Capital, but the private equity firm’s attempt to revive the business failed as it collapsed in May this year. It is now in the process of being sold by administrators.