Tata Motors shares sink 29 percent after shocking Q3 results

Tata Motors shares tank nearly 30% biggest intra-day fall in over 15 years

Tata Motors Ltd on Thursday forecast its United Kingdom unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Automotive incur an operating loss this fiscal year mainly because of continued muted demand in JLR's single-largest market, China.

The parent's net loss was 270 billion rupees (S$5.14 billion) in the three months through December, exceeding the deficit reported by Indian Oil Corp in 2012.

Chief executive Ralf Speth said: "Jaguar Land Rover reported strong third quarter sales in the United Kingdom and North America, but our overall performance continued to be impacted by challenging market conditions in China". "We continue to work closely with Chinese retailers to respond to current market conditions", he added.

In December Jaguar Land Rover's owner Tata was hit with its second credit rating downgrade in just five months as a result of Jaguar Land Rover's struggles - which include slumping diesel demand and declining sale in China.

Tata Motors expects the costs from Jaguar Land Rover's voluntary redundancy programme to be recognised in the March quarter.

Excluding exceptional items, JLR reported a loss before tax of GBP 273 million in the third quarter, versus a profit before tax of GBP 190 million, a year ago.

"The transition from the outgoing Range Rover Evoque and lower Discovery Sport sales in China impacted Land Rover sales, but we are encouraged by continued demand for the refreshed Range Rover and Range Rover Sport".

At the time it also revealed that its total retail sales for 2018 slipped by 4.6 per cent, despite the Jaguar brand reporting its best-ever year.

Shares of Tata Motors closed 2.8 percent higher on Thursday before the earnings were announced.

JLR, which accounts for the majority of Tata Motors' earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) generation, has a significant production bias to the United Kingdom despite a reasonable degree of geographic diversification in its sales mix.

It has already announced plans to cut thousands of jobs.

Tata Motors shares were down 17 per cent at 151 rupees as of 11:10am in Mumbai.

Given the falling for its vehicles JLR has decided that capital investment should be adjusted down, resulting in a non-cash £3.1bn pre-tax exceptional charge and an overall pre-tax loss of £3.4bn for the quarter.

'We are now taking clear and decisive actions in JLR to step up its competitiveness, reduce costs and improve cash flows and make the business fit for the future, ' CFO PB Balaji told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.