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Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) returned to profitability in the second quarter of its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2009, helped by aggressive cost reduction measures and recovery of sales of its Jaguar and Land Rover brands in the U.K. The company posted a net income of Rs.217.8 million ($4.7 million), in sharp contrast to a loss of Rs.9.4 billion ($201.7 million) during the second quarter of last year.

Sales volume (including exports) for the quarter grew 17.4% to 158,575 vehicles. Despite this, revenue declined by 9% (8% in dollars) to Rs.218.1 billion ($4.7 billion) due to continued slowdown in prime markets and volatility of exchange rates adversely affecting the company’s exports of commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles.

Jaguar and Land Rover -- acquired by Tata from Ford Motor (NYSE:F) last year -- went through massive restructuring programs after its acquisition. Last year, the company has cut about 2,500 jobs in the division. It has also frozen pay and canceled bonuses. Further, in September, the company announced it would close one of its factories in England.

These have led Jaguar and Land Rover to post an operating profit of £41.29 million ($68 million), supported by 23% growth of wholesale volumes over the previous quarter and aggressive cost reduction efforts. The new products launched in the division were the upgraded Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 4.

Tata Motors is an Indian auto giant which designs, develops, manufactures and sells a range of automotive vehicles. It offers passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, engines for industrial and marine applications; construction equipment as well as provides engineering solutions and software consultancy and services.

Further, Tata engages in automotive vehicle components manufacturing and supply chain activities, machine tools and factory automation solutions, high-precision tooling, plastic and electronic components for automotive and computer applications and automotive retailing and service operations. The company also provides financing for its vehicles. Its products are marketed in Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South Asia. We recommend the shares of the company as Neutral.

Source: Tata Motors Turns Profitable in Second Quarter