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Tata Motors Q4 PAT up 32.72 pc

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, May 17

TATA Motors Ltd on Tuesday reported a 32.72 per cent rise in profit after tax for the quarter ended March 31,2005, to Rs 388.17 crore from the previous year's corresponding period's Rs 292.47 crore.

Net sales/income from operations was up 28.85 per cent to Rs 5338.87 crore (Rs 4143.44 crore).

For 2004-2005, its PAT moved up by 52.64 per cent to Rs 1236.95 crore (Rs 810.34 crore) on a 31.73 per cent rise in net sales/income from operations to Rs 17,419.13 crore (Rs 13,223.22 crore).

The company's board has recommended a dividend of Rs 12.50 (including Rs 2.50 as special dividend) per share of Rs 10.

On BSE, the Tata Motors scrip closed lower by 0.26 per cent at Rs 446.80.

Though rising raw material-cost kept EBITDA margin at 12.5 per cent (14.2 per cent), Mr Praveen Kadle, Executive Director, Tata Motors, pointed out, it would stand revised to a one per cent dip from 13.7 per cent to 12.7 per cent if adjustments were made for a foreign exchange gain of Rs 65 crore in Q4 FY04 and a loss of Rs 10 crore (under the same head) in the just ended quarter.

On the other hand, the company merited a lower tax rate of 25 per cent (37 per cent), courtesy tax-free returns from its growing surplus cash.

Investible surplus amounted to Rs 2,590 crore. According to Mr Ravi Kant, Executive Director, Tata Motors, is looking at alternative sources to procure steel, besides higher productivity and aggressive cost reduction steps, to contain costs. "The cost pressure is only increasing," he said.

The company, which committed itself to Rs 6,000 crore-capital expenditure over five years starting 2004, would spend Rs 1,400 crore-1,500 crore (Rs 900 crore) for the purpose in FY06.

Its business outlook continued to be cautious with input cost rise, fuel price, growing competition, likely downturn in truck sales and the VAT related churn in the market - all finding mention in performance variables.

Dr V. Sumantran, Executive Director, said, Tata Motors has got all its dues from MG Rover. Apart from a few sundry transactions, City Rovers were paid for when they left the country.

With overall volumes getting larger, courtesy the domestic automobile market's fast paced growth, incremental growth rate for FY06 was suitably tweaked to modest proportion.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 18, 2005)
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