tata steel long products ltd share price Management discussions


I. Overview

The purpose of this report is to present the Managements point of view on various aspects of the external environment and the steel industry, including strategy, operational and _nancial performance, key developments in human resources and industrial relations, risks and opportunities, and the e_ectiveness of internal control systems within the Company during the _scal year 2022-23. It is important to review this report alongside the Companys _nancial statements, schedules, notes, and other relevant information provided in the Integrated Report and Annual Accounts for the year 2022-23. The Companys _nancial statements have been prepared in accordance with Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) and comply with the requirements of the Companies Act, 2013, as amended, and the regulations issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from time to time.

II. External Environment

1. Macroeconomic condition

Global GDP growth is projected to decline from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023 due to factors such as the Russia-Ukraine war and central banks raising interest rates to control in_ation. The reemergence of COVID-19 variants in China and the ongoing war in Ukraine hampered growth in 2022. Sanctions on Russia, a major energy supplier, further hindered growth and strained supply chains. The war exacerbated in_ation in developed economies. However, the recent reopening of economies may lead to a faster recovery in 2023.

In terms of speci_c regions, the United States is expected to experience a growth rate of 1.6% in 2023, while Eurozone growth is anticipated to remain weak at 0.8% due to the energy shock resulting from the war in Ukraine. Chinas economy is predicted to rebound to 5.2% as mobility and industrial activity improve after the lifting of pandemic restrictions. However, the contraction in the real estate sector remains a signi_cant challenge.

2. Economic Outlook

The factors that contributed to in_ation in 2022, such as rising commodity prices, expansive _scal and monetary policies, and disruptions in the supply chain, are now reversing. Global inflation is projected to decrease from 8.7% in 2022 to 7% in 2023, primarily due to lower commodity prices. In_ation peaked in the United States and Europe in early 2023, but is declining in other major economies like Japan, China, and India.

In the United States, economic growth is expected to slow down in 2023 due to tighter monetary and _scal policies. However, the country is likely to avoid a recession, thanks to decreasing energy prices, robust employment growth, and a reduction in supply chain stress vis-a-vis what earlier estimates predicted.

Europe continues to face the threat of a recession as wages and consumer spending have significantly declined. In_ation is being fuelled by elevated natural gas prices, which have, in turn, reduced purchasing power.

3. Indian Economy

Despite the massive global slowdown caused by Covid-19 and the continued geopolitical uncertainties due to the Russia-Ukraine con_ict, the Indian economy is on a growth track, and heading towards a bright future. Indias economic growth in FY23 has been principally led by private consumption and capital formation. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is expected to boost the domestic manufacturing sector. Overall industrial capex is set to rise to nearly H5.7 lakh core on average, between the fiscal years 2023 and 2027 compared to H3.7 lakh crore over the past _ve _scals. Nearly half of this incremental capex will be driven by PLI and new-age sectors. While industrial capex will get a push from government policies and new-age opportunities, infrastructure spending will continue to drive 12-16% growth in capex next _scal, given targets under the National Infrastructure pipeline.

III. Steel Industry

1. Global Steel Industry

Global steel demand is expected to increase by ~1% and to reach ~1815 MnT driven by select regions like India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Steel demand in China is expected to remain stable in 2023 while its likely to recover by 0.2% in the developed world. Demand in Europe and the Commonwealth nations is, however, expected to decline. The recovery in global demand on account of reversing of in_ationary trends and increase in infrastructure spending is expected to be slower than earlier projections.

2. Indian Steel Industry

The growth story for India remains intact despite global headwinds. The growth can be attributed to continuous government focus on infrastructure and consumption-led demand, despite India facing supply disruptions due to raw material constraints and volatility of prices. In FY2022-23, the automotive and special products sector started o_ on a positive note with robust demand for Passenger Vehicles (PV) due to pent-up demand resurfacing with the easing of the semiconductor supply situation and new model launches. Strong growth in Commercial Vehicle (CV) demand continued, supported by replacement demand, improvement in the overall macroeconomic environment, pick-up in infrastructure, mining and construction activities, and healthy fleet utilization levels. The automotive sector ended the year with overall Y-o-Y growth of 24% and 27% in PV and CV segments respectively. Growth in the construction sector is being propelled by infrastructure growth over the medium- to long-term since the building construction and industrial sector has recorded sedate growth rates.

Demand is expected to be robust in FY24 supported by the strong GDP growth forecast, private consumption, and government expenditure. Major steel-consuming sectors like construction, capital goods, railways and automotive are expected to drive the increase in demand. The infrastructure segment is likely to continue its strong momentum driven by government spending before the general election. However, real estate growth is likely to be driven by a_ordable government housing. The automotive sector is expected to continue healthy growth momentum supported by growth in the demand for PVs and CVs, whereas two-wheeler recovery will depend upon rural consumption.

IV. Operational Performance

FY23 has been a year of strategic achievements for Tata Steel Long Products Limited despite multiple headwinds that the business faced. There have been several historic moments for the Company, on its growth and transformational journey.

With the completion of the Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) acquisition in the month of July 2022, the crude steel nameplate capacity of the Company has almost doubled to ~1.9 MTPA level. NINL (a company that was not operational for >3 years) operations were reignited within 100 days of acquisition with the start-up of the blast furnace. All the major facilities (except the coke oven) achieved stabilization towards the end of FY23. The plant has steadily ramped up its operations, including the iron ore mine, and exited the year at 1 MTPA (crude steel + pig iron) rate in March 2023. It produced 202 KT of crude steel in FY23 and enabled TSLP to expand its product portfolio by leveraging the Tata Tiscon Retail brand. Systems and processes have been put in place and strengthened in alignment with the Tata way of working. A newer set of benchmarks and milestones have been created for deeper engagement with all stakeholders.

Another big milestone on our growth journey started with the ground-breaking ceremony for putting up the state-of- the-art 0.5 MTPA Combi mill facility for specialty steel in Jamshedpur. The upcoming mill would deliver a benchmark level on product quality parameters in terms of dimension tolerance, Decarb level, and surface defect to enhance our presence and growth in chosen segments of PV and two-wheelers. The project has also been selected and approved by the Ministry of Steel for Automotive Power train and Bearing steel as part of the PLI scheme for specialty steel. The project is on at full swing and is expected to be completed on time.

On the sustainability front, the company has been making footprint. The prime focus

bold moves to reduce its CO2

area is transitioning towards green energy through multiple initiatives like the partial closure of one coal-based captive power plant at Gamharia, maximizing green power generation through waste heat recoveries, and changing fuel combination to reduce fresh coal usage. These initiatives, coupled with increased throughput and reduced fuel consumption across mills, have resulted in from 4.39 tons/ton of crude

~9% YoY reduction in CO2

steel in FY 22 to ~4 tons/ton of crude steel in FY23. As part of the customer obsession journey, the company has undertaken several initiatives to improve relationships, product quality, and accelerate new product development. The positive Impact of these initiatives are re_ected in the customer satisfaction survey conducted by an independent agency. The customer satisfaction score for TSLP has signi_cantly improved to 85.4% in 2022 from 79.4% in 2020 and largely bridged the gap with respect to competition.

On the operations front, the company has, for the _rst time, crossed the landmark of 700kT+ of crude steel production and achieved the highest-ever specialty steel deliveries of 536kT in FY23, registering a growth of ~10% on a YoY basis. The company has also achieved the best-ever DRI production from the Gamharia unit at 463kT (~18% growth on a YoY basis).

Progressing further on its integration journey, the company has migrated on S4 Hana across all three operating locations to enable an enterprise-wide single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.

The companys e_orts are getting recognized at various forums on multiple fronts. TSLP has been adjudged for the Outstanding Accomplishment in Corporate Excellence by CII-ITC Sustainability award , in recognition of its integration of sustainability into overall processes. TSLP received another prestigious award which marks a _rst for a Tata Group company – Winner for Excellence in Wellness initiatives awarded by the SHRM Society of Human Resource Management. Bain and Cipla were the runners up for the award this year. In addition to this, few other awards received have been listed below:

Safety & i. Steel Champion in Energy Excellence from CII
Sustainability ii. Kalinga Safety Excellence Award in ‘Best Practices on Behavioural & Workplace Safety
iii. Eastern Region 2nd Runner up for "Best performance in employee health, safety & environmental care"
Customer i. Best performance in Steel Quality from Mahindra CIE Group vendor conference 2022.
Engagement ii. Best Supplier of CHQ (Cold Headed Quality) Steel wire rods from M/s Micron Precision Screws, Rohtak
People i. Future of Learning & Development (L&D) Summit & Awards 2022 - Winner in L&D Excellence Award Category.
Management ii. AIMA (All India Management Association) Project Excellence Award 1st Runner Up for Best CSR (Corporate Social
Responsibility) projects

V. Financial Performance

The prolonged geopolitical instability caused by the Russia-Ukraine war resulted in heightened in_ationary pressures in the post-Covid world. Central banks across the world increased interest rates in response. Other factors like Chinas Zero-Covid policy and the collapse of its property market, the energy crisis, export duty imposition on steel and iron ore by the Indian government further impacted market sentiments. FY 23 saw volatility in raw material and steel prices like never before, and this spike in expenses was re_ected in the quarterly results of most steel companies. TSLP was no exception to this. Accordingly, the Companys _nancial performance for FY 23 was a year of two halves. In H1 FY23 we struggled with high-priced coal consumption followed by the downward spiral of prices caused by GoIs imposition of export duty in the month of May 2022. In addition to external challenges, we have faced certain internal challenges as well. The power availability from the grid and certain disturbances at the Blast Furnace end has further impacted the companys operational performance during H1FY23. However, the company has demonstrated great agility and re-aligned its supply chain to minimize the impact of coal prices and logistics disturbances in the marketplace. In H2 FY23, the companys _nancial performance bounced back driven by operational excellence and mix enrichment. EBITDA loss in H1 FY23 got fully negated in Q3 FY23 and the company has achieved positive underlying PBT (without considering the interest burden on the NCRPS) in Q4FY23.

During the year, the business model for Joda underwent a change to optimise working capital for the company. It has started operating as a conversion unit for Tata Steel from November 2022 onwards. The company has remained resilient throughout the year and seamlessly managed cash _ows thereby averting the need for any fresh borrowing.

I. Financial Performance:

During FY2022-23, the Company recorded a top line growth of 1.1X with revenue reaching to ~ H7500 crore level. However, the Company registered a negative PBT of 1,030 crore in FY2022-23 mainly on account of increase in _nance cost and cost of raw material.

a. Revenue from operations ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_ FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Sale of products 6,627 6,316 5% 7,971
Sale of power 61 63 -2% 62
Income from services 514 186 176% 514
Other operating revenue 262 237 11% 445
Total revenue from operations 7,464 6,802 10% 8,992

During the year under review, sale of products was higher as compared to the previous year primarily due to increase in volumes and higher realisations. The Company recorded sales of 655 KT which is 0.5% higher than previous year.

During the year under review, the company has shifted from DRI sales to conversion model at Joda resulting in increase in income from services.

b. Cost of materials consumed ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_ FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Cost of Materials consumed 5,469 3,930 39% 6,853

During the year under review, cost of materials consumed increased primarily due to higher cost of imported coal.

c. Employee bene_ts expense ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Employee bene_t expenses 217 216 0.49% 391

d. Depreciation and amortisation expense ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Depreciation and amortisation expenses 348 320 9% 716

e. Other expenses ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Other Expenses 1,788 1,577 13% 2,875

f. Other Expenses represents the following expenditure: ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_ FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Consumption of stores and spare parts 524 437 20% 948
Fuel oil consumed 246 188 31% 312
Purchase of power 130 112 16% 190
Rent 2 5 -65% 7
Repairs to buildings 22 25 -11% 24
Repairs to machinery 208 153 36% 437
Insurance 14 11 26% 17
Rates and taxes 43 30 44% 58
Freight and handling charges 373 353 6% 455
Commission, discounts and rebates 1 1 -1% 5
Packing and forwarding 9 10 -3% 9
Royalty 109 135 -19% 168
Conversion charges 4 1 307% 87
Legal and professional costs 9 10 -13% 21
Advertisement, promotion and selling expenses 0 0 39% 0
Travelling expenses 9 7 28% 9
Net Loss on foreign currency transactions 17 11 51% 17
Corporate social responsibility expenses 8 3 158% 8
Loss on disposal of property plant and equipment 2 12 -85% 2
Other general expenses 55 72 -24% 99
Total Other expenses 1788 1577 13% 2875

Other expenses were higher as compared to previous _nancial year primarily on account of higher stores, fuel, power and repairs cost mainly due to increase in prices and higher consumption of electrodes & power due to higher arcing during FY23 g. Finance costs and net _nance costs ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Finance cost 1,387 110 1161% 1,387
Net _nance cost 840 83 907% 1,207

During the year under review, _nance costs increased due to interest on NCRPS purchased from Tata Steel Limited.

h. Exceptional items ( in crores)

_

Standalone

Consolidated

FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
(i) Acquisition related expenditures 1.70 27.14 -94% I.1

i. Property, plant & equipment (PPE) including intangibles ( in crores)

_

Standalone

Consolidated

FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Property, Plant and Equipment 3,409 3,599 -5% 5,733
Capital work-in-progress 87 58 52% 235
Goodwill 6 6 0% 1201.9
Right-of-use assets 197 211 -7% 815
Other Intangible assets 247 264 -7% 8,716
Total property, plant & equipment (PPE) 3,947 4,138 -5% 16,700
including intangibles

The movement in total PPE including intangible assets is lower primarily on account of depreciation charge for the year, partly o_set by additions made during the year.

j. Investments ( in crores)

_

Standalone

Consolidated

FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Investment in Subsidiary, JVs and Associates 13,104 16 83473% 19
Investments - Non-current - - NA -
Investments – Current 548 8,078 -93% 1,104
Total Investments 13,652 8,093 69% 1,124

The increase in investment represents investment in NINL . Current Investment has decreased on account of redemption of investment in Mutual Funds for acquisition of NINL.

k. Inventories ( in crores)

_

Standalone

Consolidated

FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Raw materials 920 979 -6% 1,301
Finished and semi-_nished goods 384 302 27% 823
Stores and spares 61 69 -11% 213
Total Inventories 1,365 1,350 1% 2,336

Raw material inventories decreased over that of previous year mainly due to decrease in iron ore inventory owing to shift in business model at Joda. Finished and semi-_nished inventory increased as compared to that of the previous year mainly due to increase in quantities and rates.

l. Trade receivables ( in crores)

_

Standalone

Consolidated

FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Gross trade receivables 71 61 16% 181
Less: allowance for credit losses -1 -1 0% -1
Net trade receivables 70 60 17% 180

Increase in is due to increase in sponge debtors on account of shift in business model at Joda.

m. Gross debt and net debt ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Gross debt 14,751 13,482 -9% 14,757
Less: Cash and Bank balances 116 4,562 -97% 152
(incl. Non-current balances) _ _ _
Less: Current investments 548 8078 -93% 1104
Net debt 14,088 842 1573% 13,501

Gross Debt during FY 23 has increased due to interest on NCRPS of 1,273 crores.

n. Cash Flows ( in crores)

Standalone Consolidated
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change % FY 23
Net cash (used)/generated from operating activities -270 1,761 -115% -1,618
Net cash (used)/generated from investing activities -4,014 -9,405 -57% -2,942
Net cash (used)/generated from _nancing activities -162 11,923 101% 137
Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents -4,446 4,280 -204% -4,423

a) Net cash used in investing activities: During the current year, the net cash out_ow from investing activities was _4,014 crores as against _9,405 crores in_ow during the previous year. The out_ow in FY23 broadly represents investments in NINL for a total consideration of _ 11,490 crores o_set by proceeds from Mutual Funds _ 7,665 crores. b) Net cash generated from _nancing activities: During the current year, the net cash out_ow from _nancing activities was _162 crores against cash in_ow of _11,923 crores during the previous year. Cash in_ow for FY 22 includes proceeds of _12,700 crores of NCRPS.

o. Changes in key _nancial ratios

Standalone
_
FY 23 FY 22 Change %
Current ratio (times) (Note 1) 1.25 4.90 -74.49%
Debt-equity ratio (times) 5.61 4.65 20.65%
Debt service coverage ratio (times) (Note 2) 5.26 9.00 -41.56%
Return on equity ratio (%) (Note 3) -0.41 0.22 -63.01%
Inventory turnover ratio (in days) 66.00 58.00 13.79%
Trade receivables turnover ratio (in days) 3.20 3.64 -12.09%
Trade payables turnover ratio (in days) 111.93 117.60 -4.82%
Net capital turnover ratio (in days) 296.51 297.03 -0.18%
Net pro_t ratio (%) -0.15 0.09 -23.80%
Return on capital employed (%) 0.02 0.09 -7.16%
Return on investment (%) 0.04 0.04 0.87%

(i) Current ratio has decreased due to investment in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited from the proceeds of NCRPS which were invested in short-term deposits during FY22.

(ii) Debt service coverage ratio has decreased due to lower pro_tability during the year.

(iii) Return on equity has decreased due to an increase in _nance cost on account of interest on NCRPS.

VI. Human Resource and Industrial Relations

TSLP recognizes the signi_cance of recruiting the right talent for suitable positions at the opportune time to enhance employee productivity. A strong focus is placed on career growth, accomplished through capability building, job rotations and promotions. To facilitate expansion, the company is actively fortifying its talent pipeline through leadership development and succession planning, ensuring a balanced 1:0.9 succession cover. In line with diversity initiatives, TSLP has made signi_cant strides by recruiting 17 females and individuals with disabilities during campus recruitment, resulting in an increased diversity percentage from 3% to 4.1% through LGBTQ and PwD hiring. The manpower plan for the Combi Mill project has been _nalized, and the hiring and onboarding process for a diverse workforce has commenced. The organization also places emphasis on nurturing young talent through cadre training to enhance technical competence and business acumen. Furthermore, TSLP invests in management and supervisory development programmes to prepare for future challenges and implements upskilling programmes for workers and associates. The company has implemented industry-leading initiatives, like prioritizing holistic wellness and establishing governance mechanisms, which have earned it the prestigious SHRM award for "Excellence in Health & Wellness Category." Ensuring workforce safety is fundamental to our organization. TSLP conducts safety training and assessments using both physical and virtual methods. Our objective is to instil a safety mindset and cultivate a safety-oriented culture across the company. We also place strong emphasis on maintaining harmonious and productive relationships with our unions and the community at large and this is done through e_ective industrial relations management. The success achieved in this area is largely attributed to the managements unwavering commitment to employee well-being and the cooperative attitude taken by unions.

VII. Digital Transformation

IT and digital leadership plays a crucial role in enabling the achievement of TSLPs objectives. During FY 23, we focused on implementing a transformational project and enhancing the cybersecurity levels for our data and networks. Several initiatives were undertaken, including the implementation of an integrated ERP system called S4 Hana to ensure a single version of data truth. E_orts were made to make the mines future-ready by establishing a connected IT network, digitizing dispatch systems, and enabling real-time monitoring of mine operations through Tableau dashboards. We also took steps towards Industry 4.0 readiness by deploying Level-2 automation at Blast Furnace 2 and SMS 3.

Robotic Process Automation was utilized for LC discounting and vendor payment processes. ANAPLAN facilitated business and _nancial planning was implemented, while Tableau dashboards enabled insight-driven decision-making across various business processes. Group synergy was achieved through IT system deployment at NINL to meet opening day requirements. Additionally, more than 20 digital applications/platforms were implemented, including a single sign-on system, a web app store for easy access to all applications, and a platform for risk identi_cation and mitigation planning.

Integration of our rewards and recognition system with an e-commerce portal, a CSR volunteering app for centralized tracking and monitoring of CSR initiatives, and a digital platform for the IATF audit process were also established. Cybersecurity was enhanced through measures like disk encryption for end-user devices, a Security Operation Centre for continuous monitoring, secure remote access to corporate systems, and the implementation of secure access to O_ce 365 applications. IT assets were refreshed, and Zscalar was implemented to establish secure connections to the company network from anywhere.

VIII.Risk and Opportunities

Every year, TSLP identifies the key risks that could significantly impact its business. These risks include variability in steel demand and changes in customer requirements for sustainable steel products, which may a_ect market share and pro_tability. Additionally, the company faces challenges related to high consumption prices caused by volatility in the coal market, leading to cost escalation and increased working capital requirements. To address these risks, TSLP aims to capitalize on the growth potential of the Indian market, leveraging government initiatives. The company is expanding its portfolio to cater to the speci_c demands of the automotive and construction sectors, utilizing advanced technology to serve key OEMs and aims to produce substitutes that can replace imports of certain products. TSLP also seeks to enrich its product mix in specialty steel.

Several opportunities are being pursued by TSLP, including the governments push towards infrastructure-led economic growth, which is expected to drive domestic steel consumption growth. The company is also focusing on the potential created by the PLI scheme for specialty steel and exploring opportunities in PLI 2.0. Furthermore, TSLP recognizes the potential for growth through technological and digital advancements, as well as from the increasing importance of sustainability and the circular economy.

Globally, the shift towards sustainability has in_uenced consumer demand, particularly in the areas of mobility and energy-e_cient construction, changing the nature of specialty steel demand. TSLP aims to be the preferred supplier in these segments by fostering a culture of customer obsession and technology-led product innovation. The company prioritizes customer-centricity throughout its value chain and endeavours to enhance customer experience by focusing on quality, new product development, service, and timely deliveries.

IX. Internal control systems and their adequacy

The Board of Directors of the Company are responsible for ensuring that Internal Financial Controls (IFC) have been laid down in the Company and that such controls are adequate and operating e_ectively. The foundation of IFC lies in the Tata Code of Conduct (‘TCoC), policies and procedures adopted by the management, in business planning processes, management reviews, management system certifications and the risk management framework. The Company has an adequate internal control system to manage business operations e_ectively and e_ciently. The internal audit department closely monitors the compliance of all operations with prescribed business standards. The audit team supervises all internal processes and recommends necessary changes to ensure quick remediation of deviations, if any. Any variance from the budget is flagged off to the senior management which advises modi_cations to ensure strict adherence with compliances.

Periodic monitoring and effective implementation of recommendations ensures high business compliance with adequate adherence to rules and regulations that govern the Company. The internal control system ascertains optimal utilization of all resources and proper documentation of _nancial transactions.

X. Statutory Compliances

The Managing Director, after obtaining confirmation from each of the departments, reports to the Board on a quarterly basis regarding compliance with the provisions of various statutes, applicable to the Company. An enterprise-wide digital compliance management tool has been implemented across all locations of the Company to help monitor compliance in real-time across the organization. Due systems and processes are in place to ensure the e_ectiveness of this tool. The Company Secretary, being the Compliance Officer, ensures compliance with the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI Listing Regulations.