Tata Motors' fourth quarter profit beats, JLR turnaround helps

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Guenter Butschek, CEO and Managing Director at Tata Motors, speaks at the launch of H5X SUV concept car at the India Auto Show 2018 in Greater Noida

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Tata Motors Ltd’s fourth-quarter profit fell less than expected on Monday, with the Indian automaker saying tighter control of expenses and a turnaround at its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit helped dull the impact of economic slowdown at home.

Three months ago, Tata promised “decisive action” to cut costs at JLR and improve cash flow after weak sales at the British luxury car brand led Tata to post the biggest-ever quarterly loss in Indian corporate history.

India’s biggest automaker by revenue earned 11.17 billion rupees (£125.69 million) in net profit for the three months ended March 31 – its first quarterly profit in the fiscal year.

The result was ahead of the 3.38 billion rupees average of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv IBES, but was still lower than 21.25 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue from wholly owned subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc fell 5% to 651.46 billion rupees. The unit brings in most of Tata’s revenue.

Last month, rival Maruti Suzuki India Ltd booked a net profit decline of 5% and forecast a weak rate of growth for the current fiscal year ending March 2020.

Shares of Tata Motors closed up 7.5% at 190.15 rupees ahead of the earnings release. The Nifty Auto index ended up 4.2% amid a broader market rally.

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