London: Indian steel conglomerate Tata Steel lost more than 1 million pounds a day in the UK last year, according to the company's annual report. The Indian steelmaker, which runs the UK's largest steelworks at Port Talbot in south Wales, lost 371 million pounds in Britain in the financial year until March end this year as a result of lower production. The losses mark a hike from 222 million pounds a year earlier, says 'The Sunday Times'. As per the annual report, its turnover from its UK plant rose 1% to 2.4 million pounds, but the production fell from 3.6 million tons to 3.2 million after one of the two blast furnaces was shut down for maintenance.
Tata Steel spent 56 million pounds during the year to extend the furnace's life by up to seven years. "The losses for Tata Steel UK, disclosed in its annual report, come as the industry struggles to forge a future," the report said, adding, "Tata has spent the past few years unwinding its top-of-the-market 6.2 billion pounds takeover of Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus in 2007" The Tata Group employs 8,500 staff in its UK steel business. The company's hopes for a turnaround in fortunes for its European arm with a merger with Germany's Thyssenkrupp collapsed in May this year, after it was blocked by the European Commission on competition grounds.
While admitting that the proposed JV was an important strategic initiative for the company to create a sustainable portfolio in Europe, Tata Steel had stressed that it would explore all options to achieve similar outcomes in the future. "Our strategy is to be the leading and most sustainable flat steel company in Europe with a strong focus on delivering value, especially for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.