Orica booms on explosives, chemicals

Global chemicals, fertilisers and explosives group Orica (ASX: ORI) today announced booming sales and profits for the first half ended 31 March, 2019.

The result of Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $33 million, and $167 million before individually significant items, was up 35 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

Orica managing director Alberto Calderon said: “This result demonstrates growing momentum in Orica’s business driven by stronger operating leverage.

“Improved operational performance across all regions and businesses, sustainable overhead reductions and improved manufacturing performance, each contributed to significant Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) uplift in this half.”

The Melbourne company delivered three per cent higher Ammonium Nitrate (AN) volumes and 12 per cent higher sales revenue, driving 20 per cent EBIT growth.

As reported in @AuManufacturing, Orica wrote down $191 million from IT changes and plant breakdowns, and made big strides digitising its explosives business.

The Burrup AN plant continued to make progress and Calderon said it would be fully loaded in the 2020 financial year.

“Orica continues to make good progress with the commercialisation of innovative blasting solutions that improve mine productivity and lower customer operating costs.”

The company’s performance was supported by contract wins and growing demand from existing customers in Australian and Latin American markets, improved performance in manufacturing operations and fewer unplanned maintenance shutdowns.

Performance was also buoyed by firming prices as markets moved towards supply/demand balance.

Calderon said: “Going forward we continue to expect stronger EBIT in the second half of 2019 supported by AN volume growth and firm pricing, further improvement in operating performance and efficiency as well as ongoing growth in Orica’s technology and advanced services offerings.”

Picture: Orica

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