Tata Steel profits from higher prices and UK plant sale

Steelworks in Scunthorpe Tata is looking to cut 1,500 jobs at two plants in the UK

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India's Tata Steel has reported a return to annual profit, thanks in part to higher steel prices and the sale of a UK plant.

Net profit was 89.8bn rupees ($2bn; £1.2bn) for the year to the end of March, compared with a loss of 20.1bn rupees a year earlier.

Profits were boosted by the sale of its Teesside plant for $561m to Thailand's SSI in March.

Last week, Tata proposed cutting 1,500 jobs in the North of England.

This includes 1,200 jobs in Scunthorpe and 300 in Teesside at its loss-making Long Products division. However, the firm said it would invest £400m in the division over the next five years to help turn it around.

The company blamed the cuts on the falling demand for steel.

'Higher prices'

Revenue for the year to March climbed slightly to 1.17 trillion rupees.

"It was a good year as steel consumption in India rose, aided by strength in industrial activity," said Tata Steel's managing director HM Nerurkar.

Karl-Ulrich Kohler, chief executive of the company's European operations, said: "Higher selling prices and deliveries gave us a strong end to [the year], with one-off benefits from the completion of the Teesside sale."

Tata is one of the biggest steel makers in the world, with operations in 26 countries.

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