Orica sees growth in NPAT

Orica has recorded a positive NPAT in its latest results, but is still eyeing off 700 job cuts in the coming year.

The explosives, chemicals, and mining equipment manufacturer announced a net profit after tax of $602.5 million for the full year ended 30 September, a growth of 2 per cent year on year and in line with its earlier guidance.

However its EBITDA was down slightly year on year, from $1.253 billion to $1.231 billion, a two per cent fall.

It saw the greatest fall in the Australian market, where its EBIT was down nine per cent year on year.

However it was up both in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The overall positive earnings come as the mining industry continues to contract and work slows in the sector.

Speaking on the result, Orica CEO Ian Smith said it demonstrated the company's resilience in the face of challenging market conditions.

"Orica's diverse geographic footprint and commodity exposure, focus on differentiated products and services, and initial results of the transformation program have large offset the impact of lower volumes and prices in some markets," he said in a company statement.

It also carried out a program of 'efficiency improvements' which delivered savings of around $69 million in 2014, with the ongoing program encouraging the company to reset its cost base for 2015.

Part of this program has included a headcount reduction of around 1300 positions over the last two years, with "Orica's ongoing transformation program expected to lead to a further headcount reduction of approximately 700 positions in 2015," the company said.

On the back of its end of year statements, Orica has also announced the sell off of its chemicals division. 

Looking forwards to 2015 Orica stated that "volatility and uncertainty in global resources markets makes it difficult to provide profit guidance for the year ahead".

"However the company does not expect significant improvement in the resources markets, reinforcing the requirement for the company to achieve its transformation objectives."

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