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Tata Steel's fiscal Q1'20 profit slumps YOY; new buyer found for Thai unit

Tata Steel Ltd.'s net profit for its fiscal first quarter plunged to 7.02 billion Indian rupees, or 5.83 rupees per share, from 19.34 billion rupees, or 16.66 per share, booked a year ago.

Lower steel prices, higher iron ore prices and uncertainty brought by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war weighed on its results.

The company said Aug. 7 that it executed a memorandum of understanding to divest a 70% stake in Tata Steel (Thailand) PCL to Synergy Metals and Mining Fund and form a 70/30 partnership for the business. The deal follows the termination of its earlier agreement with HBIS Group Co. Ltd. A definitive agreement is expected once Synergy completes its due diligence.

Revenue rose to 359.47 billion rupees from 354.94 billion rupees, while adjusted EBITDA slumped to 55.30 billion rupees from 70.63 billion rupees. Shares closed 4.75% lower on the Bombay Stock Exchange following the announcement.

The company noted that steel spreads per ton dropped by US$80 to US$100 in key markets, such as India and Europe, where the steel industry faced significant headwinds. Consolidated steel production rose to 7.15 million tons from 6.45 million tons a year ago, with deliveries rising to 6.34 million tons from 6.02 million tons.

Tata Steel's Indian operations posted a net profit of 15.67 billion rupees, down year on year from 18.56 billion rupees, though revenue increased to 211.29 billion rupees from 187.74 billion rupees thanks to higher volumes.

Revenue from the European operations decreased to 144.95 billion rupees due to lower deliveries, driven by a shutdown of its Netherlands facility.

As of Aug. 6, US$1 was equivalent to 71.04 rupees.