The shareholders of Tata Sons
have given green light to a proposal for 1,000 per cent dividend
based on the higher profit reported in financial year 2018-19. Last year, the dividend
paid was 800 per cent. In the annual general meeting of shareholders held in Mumbai on Friday, they also cleared commission on profit to the company’s directors.
The higher dividend
will help Tata Trusts, which owns 67 per cent stake in Tata Sons, to invest in its charitable activities. The total dividend outgo will be Rs 404 crore. Tata Sons
reported a 30 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 1,114 crore during financial year 2018-19 on operating revenues of Rs 9,598 crore.
A Tata Sons
spokesperson declined to comment on Friday’s development. The annual report of Tata Sons shows that its gross debt was up 14.5 per cent to Rs 31,363 crore at the end of March 2019 while net debt was up 52.1 per cent due to a sharp fall in cash and equivalents.
The holding company’s cash and equivalents had declined by 59 per cent in the last financial year.
The company’s interest liability was up 36.5 per cent last financial year while operating profit was down 30.2 per cent. Tata Sons gross debt to equity ratio rose by 0.72 times while net debt to equity ratio was 0.63 times against 0.42 times a year ago. Both the ratios were highest in the last 15 years.
During the year, Tata Sons also bought back its non-convertible debentures worth Rs 7,000 crore from insurance companies
like the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) as regulations bar investments by insurance firms in private limited companies.
Tata Sons turned into a private limited company in financial year 2018.