Tata Motors shares drop after 96% fall in Q4 profits

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Shares in carmaker Tata Motors have fallen by nearly 8 per cent after the Indian owner of Jaguar Land Rover reported a 96 per cent decline in operating profit for the final quarter of 2016.

The company, part of the Tata conglomerate that has been racked by top-level infighting in recent months, recorded a net profit of Rs1.1bn for the period, down from Rs29.6bn a year before.

The decline was driven by soaring losses at Tata Motors’ domestic business, which has suffered large falls in market share over the past decade. The Indian unit reported a pre-tax loss of Rs10bn, up from Rs1.4bn a year before.

It also reflected weaker performance from Jaguar Land Rover, by far the company’s strongest unit in recent years, where pre-tax profit fell 49 per cent to £255m.

The company blamed this largely on higher marketing expenses and lower wholesale volumes, but said that retail sales – including at its Chinese joint venture – had risen 8.5 per cent in the period.

Shares closed 7.6 per cent lower at the end of Tuesday’s trading.

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