Tata Steel ready for increased demand
TATA Steel has reported improving performance in its European operations, particularly the UK, and said it was poised to capitalise on increased demand.
The steel giant, which has operations in Port Talbot employing some 3,500 people with another 750 at its tin plant in Trostre, reported a return to profit for the group in the quarter to 30 June compared to a loss in the fourth quarter of its year to March 31, 2013.
Tata Steel said its European operations had maintained an improvement in underlying performance on the back of upgrades at production facilities during its previous financial year.
Tata Steel Europe chief executive Dr Karl-Ulrich Köhler said: "Our European facilities recorded higher production volumes after we completed some major plant refurbishment last year, which gave us a more stable production platform and greater operational flexibility.
"As a result we are better placed to supply our customers with the high-quality steel they demand. We see signs that our strategy is enhancing bottom-line performance, despite continued subdued European demand.
"There have recently been encouraging signs of improving economic conditions in some European economies, the UK in particular, and we are poised to capitalise should these translate more strongly into increased demand from steel-intensive sectors."
In its results for the year to March 31 2013, Tata Steel Europe posted pre-tax losses of £1.176 billion. Last November, the company announced it was shedding 900 jobs around the UK including 500 in Port Talbot to make itself more competitive in tough economic times.