Explosives and mining technology group Orica is riding a wave of high commodity prices boosting customers fortunes to notch up a 32 percent rise in half year underlying operating profit of $323 million.
The result, which yielded a net profit after tax of $123 million in the half year ended 31 March, came after a string of bad years, including the previous corresponding period’s net loss after tax of $84.6 million.
Earnings increased in all regions which the company attributed to commercial discipline, strong customer demand, high manufacturing utilisation and increased earnings from advanced technology product offerings.
As well as explosives, the company has moved steadily in recent years into orebody analysis tools, mine blast optimisation, and digital blast control.
Orica’s digital solutions business now includes Orebody Intelligence, Blast Design and Execution, GroundProbe instruments and the recently acquired Axis Mining Technology, a manufacturer of specialised geospatial tools and instruments for the mining industry.
Orica Managing Director and CEO Sanjeev Ghandi said: “The external market conditions while challenging have highlighted the strength of our people and unmatched global asset and product portfolio, which has enabled us to adapt and manage volatile external operating conditions.
“Sustained high commodity prices have fuelled demand for our products and services, and driven customer specialised products and technology offerings to deliver further productivity gains and support their sustainability goals.”
Ghandi said the integration of Axis was ‘progressing well’, and had opened new international markets for the company.
He said the strength of Orica’s performance was expected to continue in the second half of the year.