Jaguar Land Rover hands Tata the biggest loss in Indian corporate history

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JLR reported revenues of £6.2 billion and a pre-tax loss before exceptional items of £273 million with 2.6% negative EBIT margin for the quarter.

The impairment charges have been arrived at after taking into consideration the current assets on JLR's books, future investment, and "stress testing" it for low growth environment, coming particularly out of China, rising interest rates, and technological disruptions, he added.

The company's passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market declined 11 per cent to 17,826 units last month, compared with 20,055 units in January 2018.

Automaker Tata Motors Ltd posted its biggest quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by an impairment charge for its British luxury vehicle business Jaguar Land Rover. While JLR's growth in most of its key markets, including the UK, Europe and the USA, has been satisfactory, China "has been a problem", he said.

The automotive industry is facing significant market, technological, and regulatory headwinds.

JLR, which is owned by India's Tata conglomerate, expects the malaise to drag on and has booked £3.1bn of asset write-downs to reflect lower anticipated profits, sending it down to a £3.4bn loss.

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Half of the charge was due to the firm acknowledging that investments in machinery and plants were worth less than previously thought. While revenues at the United Kingdom subsidiary were down 1 per cent to 6,233 million pounds over the year-ago quarter, margins contracted by 360 bps to 7.3 per cent.

On a standalone basis, the company posted PAT (profit after tax) of Rs 617.62 crore as against Rs 211.59 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

P B Balaji, chief financial officer at Tata Motors, said the impairment at JLR would help the company reduce depreciation and amortisation costs by nearly 300 million pounds in a year and reduce the break-even point.

JLR realised £500m of cash improvements through the "Charge" programme in the third quarter. At the same time, investment in new models, electrification and other technologies remains high.

FILE PHOTO: The 2017 Land Rover Discovery is pictured at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S November 16, 2016. The company also had a £1.9bn undrawn credit facility available at the end of the quarter. "Despite the muted growth, Tata Motors has delivered strong results, registered an impressive profitable growth this year on the back of exciting products, renewed brand positioning and aggressive cost reduction".

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