Moody's Investors Service on Monday said that the cost rationalisation of Tata Steel's European operations is credit positive as it will support a turnaround in the private steel major's wholly-owned arm TSUKH's less profitable operations.
On November 18, Tata Steel outlined a programme to reduce costs and improve product mix at its European operations, which are held by wholly-owned subsidiary Tata Steel UK Holdings (TSUKH), Moody's Investors Service said in a statement.
"The planned cost rationalisation program is credit positive for both companies because it will support a turnaround in TSUKH's less profitable operations that have dragged on Tata Steel's consolidated credit quality," the statement said.
The European operations accounted for 35 per cent of Tata Steel's total shipments in the first half of FY20, but they generated only around 2.4 per cent of its reported consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
Although the programme is credit positive and a continuation of the company's efforts to turnaround the European operations, a timely and meaningful improvement in performance is key, the credit rating agency said.
Sustained weakness in demand from Europe's steel-consuming sectors, global economic slowdown and increasing trade barriers cast downside risks to the pace of credit profile improvement.
Tata Steel's Indian operations are the cornerstone of the company's strong profitability because these operations are integrated into the production of key raw materials in steel making, which combats the country's slowing steel demand and declining end-product prices.
Sluggish economic growth with weak demand from automobile, manufacturing, property and construction industries have diminished steel demand in India and caused a decline in end-product prices in the first half.