RPT-India's Tata Steel reports loss on Europe weakness

Thu May 23, 2013 9:36am EDT

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NEW DELHI May 23 (Reuters) - Tata Steel Ltd, India's largest steelmaker by market value, swung to a loss in its fourth quarter, hit by weak demand in Europe, its top market and production region.

The company's January-March net loss was 65.29 billion Indian rupees ($1.2 billion), compared with a 43.3 billion rupee profit a year earlier. Net sales rose about 1 percent to 341.8 billion rupees.

Analysts had expected profit of 3.64 billion rupees on sales of 350.16 billion rupees, according Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earlier this month the company said it would write down goodwill and assets by $1.6 billion in the financial year that ended in March, mainly because pf weakness in Europe, where demand has fallen by almost a third since 2007. ($1 = 55.5612 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Krishna N Das; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and David Goodman)