Tata Motors Asks Shareholders To Be Patient For Higher Dividend

Mumbai: Tata Motors chairman Cyrus Mistry on Tuesday asked his unhappy shareholders to be patient as the company is passing through a tough turnaround amidst global uncertainty which may even impact its highly successful British operations under the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) brand.

“Shareholders should have to be patient about Tata Motors. Please don’t expect big bonuses and dividends too early. I know that 0.20 per cent for the fiscal year 2016 is embarrassing. But it’s a signal of better times to come,” Mr Mistry told the shareholders at the 71st AGM of the company here on Tuesday evening.

The company on Tuesday declared a dividend of 20 paise for ordinary shares and 30 paise for Class A shares, which will be paid out of its reserves.

Mr Mistry had told irate shareholders at the last AGM that the company was not in a position to pay dividends for 2014-15, a decision he had termed as painful. The company had declined dividends for two consecutive years in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

“I am pained for not being able to give the rightful dividend. My personal belief is that it’s a bad day for the company. I feel extremely unfortunate this day. Let me tell you it does not give me any pleasure to deny your rightful dividend. I know that many of you depend a lot on the dividend,” Mr Mistry had told the shareholders at the last AGM when the company had skipped dividend.

Addressing the shareholders on Tuesday, Mr Mistry said “it’s very rare that a company makes such a massive turnaround on its operational profitability in a short span”.

“It’s the beginning of turnaround on our standalone operations.”

Stating that fiscal year 2015-16 was one of continued global volatility across different markets, he said he does not see the new financial year to be any different.

“Chinese slowdown continues to be an important global economic factor. It will further accelerate and likely to affect the JLR operations,” he said, adding that Brexit will also add to global uncertainty as it has created an uncertain business environment in Europe.

He said newly-launched Tiago has received really good response and expressed hope that forthcoming SUV Hexa and the compact sedan Kite 5 launches are likely to help volumes.

Tata Motors’ consolidated gross revenue for 2015-16 rose 5 per cent to Rs 2,80,097 crore, while net profit stood at Rs 11,108 crore. JLR revenues rose to 22.2 billion pounds while its net income stood at 1.3 billion pounds.

Its standalone revenue rose 18 per cent to Rs 46,647 crore and had reported a net income of Rs 234 crore as against a net loss of Rs 4,739 crore in 2013-14.

During 2015-16, Mr Mistry said JLR continued to grow in all its markets except China with wholesale volume growing 16 per cent to 5,44,085 units and retail sales rising 13 per cent driven by new Jaguar XF and the XE range and the Discovery Sport, and the all-new performance SUV the F Pace.