Tata Steel haemorrhaged £371.6m in the UK last year from the country’s largest steelworks, in another stark reminder of the struggles facing Britain’s heavy manufacturing sector.
The loss, which amounts to more than £1m per day for the year ending 31 March, was due to lower production volumes, according the the Indian-owned company’s annual accounts.
Tata produced 400,000 fewer tonnes of crude steel last financial year, meaning that despite turnover rising one per cent, it shed more money overall than the previous year. In 2017, Tata lost £222m.
Since then, Tata has failed to merge its European steel business with German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp, after the European Commission blocked it after expressing competition concerns. Tata runs the Port Talbort steel making plant near Swansea in south Wales.
British Steel receives late bid from unnamed consortium
Separately, the UK’s second-biggest steel maker, British Steel, remains without an owner after it collapsed into administration in May. The government’s official receiver has run the Scunthorpe-based company over the summer, while the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) tries to find a buyer.
Beis had whittled its list of potential buyers down to three by late last week. But on Friday afternoon, it emerged another, as-yet unnamed consortium had thrown its had into the ring, led by a UK civil engineering company operating in West Africa.
Two companies, Liberty House and Turkish military pension fund Oyak, were understood to be clear frontrunners in the eyes of business secretary Andrea Leadsom. It is unclear whether the emergence of another potential buyer will delay the process of selecting a preferred bidder.
Britain’s embattled steel industry employs 32,000 people directly, while supporting a further 52,300 people’s jobs.
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