Tata Motors has reported its consolidated Q3 financial results (for the quarter ended December 31) and revealed that its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit turned profitable in the quarter.

Losses at JLR had previously tipped Tata Motors into loss and provoked a cost-cutting drive at the UK-based premium brands’ operations last year.

Tata Motors said that JLR’s net profit in the quarter was supported by a ‘better market environment and sustained cost reduction efforts’.

“The big turnaround has happened,” said Ravi Kant, Tata Motors’ vice chairman, at a press conference in Mumbai.

“Demand has picked up in the US and Europe. We hope to continue on this path for the future.”

The quarterly profit was the first for JLR since Tata bought the unit from Ford for USD2.5bn in 2008.

For the fiscal Q3, JLR posted net profit after tax of Rs. 416.95 crores (GBP59.3m). JLR’s Q3 (for the quarter ended Dec 31 – Q3 of the fiscal year) wholesale volumes grew 28% with quarter-on-quarter volume improvement coming from North America, Europe and China.

Land Rover grew 34% ‘aided by continued strong market reception to the 2010 model year vehicles launched earlier during the year’. Jaguar volumes grew 11.5% led by strong growth of XF, Tata said.

Tata Motors recently announced that group global sales almost doubled in January, growing 93% over year-ago levels to 85,714 units. This growth has taken fiscal year-to-date (April 2009–January 2010) sales to 681,480, up 13% year on year. Those figures include Jaguar Land Rover whose global sales grew by 195% to 16,269 units. Jaguar sales for the month were 2,974, up 122%, while Land Rover sales were 13,295, up 219%.

Tata Motors reported consolidated gross revenues of Rs. 26,774.44 crores (GBP3.8bn) for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, a growth of 46.7% compared to Rs. 18,246.60 crores (GBP2.6bn) in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Consolidated operating margins (EBITDA) came in at 11.74%, an improvement of 1496 basis points compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year, Tata Motors said.

Consolidated profit before tax for the quarter was Rs. 889.28 crores (GBP126.5m – versus a loss in Q3 2008-09 of Rs. 2,732.59 crores – GBP388m).

Tata Motors said that the introduction of new products and strong continued growth in the existing portfolio, along with government stimulus, a benign liquidity environment and overall economic recovery, have driven Indian operations demand revival during the current year. Tata Motors’ sales volume for the quarter (including exports) stood at 165,413 vehicles. This represents growth of 67.5% over sales of 98,760 vehicles in Q3 2008-09, which witnessed steep decline in volumes impacted by the financial crisis.