Tata Motors posts quarterly loss and warns of inflationary costs

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BENGALURU — Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) owner Tata Motors reported a quarterly loss on Monday that was bigger than expected and warned of rising inflationary costs.

Automakers worldwide have been roiled by chip shortages, supply chain disruptions, COVID-19 restrictions and rising raw material prices after a short-lived recovery towards the end of 2020.

“Demand remains strong despite near term concerns … the semiconductor supply situation is improving gradually whilst inflation worries persist,” Tata Motors said in an exchange filing.

The company expects chip shortages at JLR to continue through 2022 as suppliers gradually ramp up production, and is also engaging directly with chip manufacturers to secure supply longer-term supplies for the Range Rover maker, it said.

Tata Motors’ consolidated net loss came in at 15.16 billion rupees ($203.23 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a profit of 29.06 billion rupees a year earlier, when an easing of pandemic-related restrictions led to a pick-up in sales.

However, the recovery was short-lived as acute semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions delayed production, and Tata Motors slipped back to losses.

For the reported quarter, analysts had expected the Mumbai-based company to report a loss of 3.30 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Tata Motors’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margin, a key measure of profitability, was 10.2% for the quarter, above estimates of 9.3%.

Total revenue from operations for the quarter fell 4.5% to 722.29 billion rupees, below estimates of 775.93 billion rupees.

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