Tata Motors posts record rev; sets first dividend in 7 years

A Tata Motors logo is pictured outside the company showroom in Mumbai

By Nandan Mandayam and Chandini Monnappa

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India's Tata Motors on Friday posted a record quarterly revenue, declared its first dividend in nearly seven years and said it expects its luxury car unit, Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) free cash flow to nearly quadruple to top $2.50 billion this fiscal.

The company, which also makes the Nexon EV and Harrier sports utility vehicles (SUVs), said revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose 35% to 1.06 trillion rupees, helped by price hikes and strong demand for JLR cars, as well as for its commercial trucks.

JLR accounted for two-thirds of its total revenue.

Like rivals, Tata Motors has raised prices of both its passenger and commercial vehicles this year to help negate the effect of rising input costs, and has been able to pass along costs to customers as demand for sport utility vehicles have remained strong.

"We remain optimistic on the demand situation despite near term uncertainties and expect a moderate inflationary environment in the near term," the company said in a press release.

It also declared a final dividend of 2 rupees per share.

Profit came in at 54.08 billion rupees (about $661 million) for the quarter, compared to a loss of 10.33 billion rupees a year ago, beating analysts expectations of 38.72 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

JLR's earnings before interest and taxes margin is expected to top 6% in fiscal 2024, more than double the 2.4% it reported in fiscal 2023, the company said.

The company had not yet decided on a location for a battery plant – plans for which were announced last year - but advanced talks were underway, chief financial officer, PB Balaji said.

Reuters reported in February that Tata was considering setting up a battery cell plant for electric vehicles in Spain or Britain.

($1 = 81.7800 Indian rupees) ($1 = 0.7923 pounds)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam and Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)