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Tata Steel is becoming more financially fit, focused on returns to shareholders: N Chandrasekaran at 113th AGM

Mail News Service 

Jamshedpur, Aug 20: Tata Steel Chairman, N Chandrasekaran addressing the 113th Annual General Meeting said, �Tata Steel aspires to be a leader in digital steel making. Our focus has been on five core initiatives over the past three years.�

In his address Chandrasekaran stated that the geographical composition of Tata Steel in Financial Year 2016 was 1/3 in India and 2/3rd international. The Indian scenario was profitable but the industrial scene was not as bright. He said, �We have steadily changed this mix to a position today where 2/3rd of the business comes from India. We did this through domestic expansion, which has led to higher levels of EBITDA and higher levels of cash. We did this while simultaneously working to address the overseas assets.�

According to the Tata Steel Chairman, the company is one of the lowest cost and most profitable steel producers in the world. Its �Shikhar25� programme has delivered savings of Rs 13,000 Cr over the last four fiscals (FY17 to FY20). He averred that strong cost rationalization measures have ensured that despite a difficult start to the financial year 21, the Company has ended Q1 FY21 with positive cash flows and that it aimed to be cash positive this year despite the challenges in the overall business environment.

The next sphere on which N Chandrasekaran emphasized that in the changing mix of deliveraging and becoming financially robust, the company had spent Rs 75,000 crore in the last four years for organic growth in the Kalinganagar project as also in the acquiring of Bhushan Steel, the steel business of Usha Martin and other facilities. He also stated that Tata Steel had invested Rs 35,000 crore on organic expansion and upgradation and another Rs 40,000 crore in inorganic growth. 

The Tata Steel Chairman, N Chandrasekaran stated, � In Europe, we have reduced our number of subsidiaries to 151 from over 300. In India, the company is well on its course of reorganizing subsidiaries into four segments: Mining, Long Products, Downstream and Infrastructure & Utilities. The merger of Tata Steel BSL with Tata Steel is poised to happen this year, which consolidates the three large manufacturing hubs at Jamshedpur, Kalinganagar and Dhenkanal under a single company.�

The Tata Steel Chairman mentioned, �Tata Steel aspires to be a leader in digital steelmaking. Our digital efforts are paying off, with Tata Steel being recognised as a transformational leader in the manufacturing industry. Data maturity is now close to process maturity with significant investment and adoption of network, connectivity, multi-cloud environment, S4 HANA, analytics and AI. We are now digital in every part of the value chain. Our focus on platforms across a connected workforce, connected assets, connected operations and connected customers is driving our digital journey. This is evident in the company�s COVID response as well. Tata Steel is the only steel company globally that has been recognised by the World Economic Forum with two lighthouse sites: IJmuiden in Netherlands and Kalinganagar in India.�

He said that in the company�s pursuit for transition to a low carbon regime, several projects were on around carbon capture, new materials, hydrogen-based steelmaking and new smelting technologies.

Tata Steel was also undertaking projects to implement generation of 180 MW renewable energy in a phased manner. Several operating parameters like coke rate, specific water consumption, CO2 emission, solid waste utilization were at benchmark levels in India.

�Tata Steel has set up a steel recycling business with the first steel scrap processing unit in Rohtak, Haryana, with an initial capacity of 5 lakh tons per annum,� he said.

Giving an insight for Tata Steel�s path ahead, Chandrasekaran said, �In India, Tata Steel continues to expand its presence with a strong brand play in the retail market, close partnership with Automotive OEMs, entry into new segments like Lifting & Excavation, Oil & Gas and Pre-Engineered Buildings.Our retail revenue is currently about Rs 11,700 crores, with a significant portfolio of products like Tata TISCON, Shaktee, Basera and Pravesh. We will continue to expand this segment.�

He said that  over the past 2-3 years, the company had been working to focus the Tata Steel portfolio. In India, apart from flat products, Tata Steel wass being consolidated into four segments namely mining, longs, downstream and infrastructure. �We have been very actively engaged in Tata Steel Europe to find a sustainable, structural solution,� he added.

 Tata Steel Chairman N Chandrasekaran closed with the observation, �Tata Steel is becoming more financially fit, focused on returns to shareholders, and generating consistent, positive cash flows.�

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