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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Noble Group reports Q1 net profit of US$106.6m

SINGAPORE: Singapore-listed Noble Group on Tuesday (May 5) reported a first-quarter net profit of US$106.6 million (S$142 million), turning around from a loss of US$240 million in the previous three months.

It also said its revolving credit facility has received full commitments for the targeted US$2.25 billion, in a sign that bankers have kept faith with the firm despite recent allegations about its accounting practice.

Hong Kong-based Noble, which is one of Asia's largest commodities firm, said profit for the three months ended March was driven by "encouraging performances" from the oil liquids and metals businesses, while operations more exposed to the slowdown in the Chinese economy managed to put in "credible performances".

The group had reported a net loss for the last quarter of 2014 after making some US$400 million in writedowns and other charges.

Noble's net profit for the first three months of 2015 was, however, 30 per cent lower when compared to the same period a year ago, while revenues for the quarter fell 7 per cent from a year ago to US$16.6 billion.

Noble's share price has fallen by around 22 per cent since the start of the year, as entities such as Iceberg Research and US short-seller Muddy Waters questioned the firm's accounts.

The group has denied the claims, and recently initiated legal action against a former employee it accused of being behind Iceberg.
Noble shares rose 4.1 per cent on Tuesday ahead of its results, which were announced after the market closed.  

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