Tata Steel’s revamped blast furnace in the UK was one of the driving forces in the group’s increase in underlying profits for the full year ending 31 March 2014 from Rs3.3bn to Rs36bn (£33m to £366m).
Tata Steel also saw group profit after tax swung to Rs35bn compared to a loss of Rs70bn for the full year in 2013. Group EBITDA grew by 29% to Rs163bn.
In its domestic market in India, the company noted that several of its facilities achieved their highest ever production figures over the course of the year. Although steel demand in the country “remained almost flat”, the company noted that its focus on customers and distribution network helped to sell a million more tonnes than during the previous year.
The company also highlighted “improved reliability” in Europe where the region saw a 16% rise in liquid steel production to 15.46 million tonnes from 13.37 million tonnes. This was also reflected in sales figures, where the volume of new products sold rose by more than 75% in the full year period compared to the previous results.
Reasons behind the improved European figures included the revamp of its blast furnace at Port Talbot, Newport and improved reliability across the region.
Karl-Ulrich Köhler, managing director and chief executive at Tata Steel in Europe, said: “The key to last year was our relentless focus on operational reliability, which restored our asset base and enabled our production to return to more usual levels. Our financial performance improved as a result.”
He noted Europe was entering “a phase of solid economic growth”, which was supporting a recovery in steel demand. “But EU steel use will remain at low levels historically against a background of continuing global overcapacity,” he added.
“Faced with these challenges we will intensify our efforts to achieve sustainable financial performance by continuing to improve the support and services we offer our customers and maintaining our focus on costs and operational efficiency.”