Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Steel is now the largest steel maker in the country ahead of long-time market leader Steel Authority of India (SAIL). Last year, the company had overtaken Tata Steel to become the number two in the industry.
JSW Steel reported net sales of Rs 52,971 crore in the year ended March against Rs 45,710 crore reported by SAIL. In comparison, Tata Steel’s India operations reported net sales of Rs 33,666 crore in the same period.
Including its global operations, however, Tata Steel remains the largest with revenue of Rs 139,503 crore. That’s the reason why Tata Steel is not losing much sweat over the rise of JSW. “Tata Steel remains the preferred choice for marquee customers and we sell every bit of steel that we produce in India,” said T V Narendran, chief executive officer of the India operations of Tata Steel, at the company’s earnings conference.
Analysts say the top slot in the domestic market in terms of revenues is a huge leg-up for JSW Steel and is the culmination of its long-term plan to close the capacity and product portfolio gap with its two larger peers. The company has been steadily raising its production capacity in the home market through brownfield expansion and strategic acquisitions.
JSW tops the industry in capacity utilisation, too. In the fourth quarter, it operated its plants at 90 per cent rated capacity. In comparison, Tata Steel India operated at 80 per cent capacity due to raw material shortage. “JSW’s revenue run-rate clearly indicates that it had higher utilisation levels compared to its peers in the March quarter,” said an analyst with a local brokerage house.