Tata Steel expects 10-15 percent sales growth in February

February 13th, 2009 - 4:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) Tata Steel expects its February sales to grow 10-15 percent as compared to last month on the back of falling steel prices.
“In light of what is happening around the world, the Indian demand situation is not bad. January was better than December and December was better than November. And I can see February will be better than January. So we are slowly coming back,” Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman said here Friday.

Prices now have come down to $500-600 per tonne compared to $800-1,000 per tonne in the last quarter of 2007-08.

Last month, Tata Steel reported 26 percent sales growth from the previous month. “In February, we will sell about 10-15 percent more than what we sold in January,” Muthuraman told reporters on the sidelines of a programme.

“But it’s going to take some time for the full economy to come back, may be it will take six months to one year,” he said.

Muthuraman added that some sectors like automobiles and consumer durables were “not doing so well, but construction is not bad”.

He remained optimistic about the quarter performance of the company.

“We will sell much more in volumes in the current quarter than what we did in the last quarter or what we did in the last quarter of last year,” Muthuraman said.

Talking about the current status of the Anglo-Dutch company Corus, which Tata Steel acquired in October 2006, Muthuraman said: “Just like any other European company, in Corus we have also done a 35-40 percent production cut. It’s usual for European companies.”

Corus has taken a lot of short-term measures including product mix changes, conserving cash and working capital reduction to weather the financial crisis.

“From all these measures they are going to save something like 600 million pounds ($870 million) between now and the end of the year. Things are very tough in Europe,” Muthuraman added.

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