Noble Group's profits soar to US$153.9 million; declares special interim dividend

Strong performance in Noble Group's agriculture and energy segments saw the group posting a 573 per cent gain in net profit to US$153.9 million for the three months ended Sept 30.

Revenue went up 7 per cent to US$23.3 billion for the third quarter.

For the nine months to Sept 30, earnings rose 193 per cent to US$372 million while revenue rose 4 per cent to $$64.8 billion.

The group's energy segment was led by the oil, gas and power divisions, the company said. Revenue for the segment rose 11 per cent to US$19.4 billion.

"The oil and gas division continued to build its capabilities across products and geographies...Structural changes in the industry allied with the retreat of some players from the market continue to offer significant opportunities," the group said.

For example, it recently acquired a supply chain management contract that alone adds 70 million barrels annually to its North American flows.

The group's agriculture segment enjoyed a record volume, with tonnage for the quarter rising 90 per cent to 20.7 million tonnes. The segment exhibited strong margin recovery with the continued integration of the recently completed oilseed crushing assets, the company said.

Revenue for the agriculture segment rose 9 per cent to US$4.6 billion for the third quarter.

Performance for the group's metals, minerals and ores (MMO) segment was less stellar, with revenue declining 4 per cent to US$3.8 billion for the quarter.

"Iron ore continues to be challenging and its results was adversely impacted in the quarter as we wrote down the value of various operating assets, principally those related to Territory Resources and an off take partner in Australia, in light of further weakening in the iron ore price," it said.

Earnings per share was 2.24 US cents for the three months ended Sept 30, up from 0.25 US cents a year back.

Net asset value at Sept 30 was 83 US cents at Sept 30, up from 78 US cents at Dec 31.

Noble declared a special interim dividend of three US cents, payable Dec 5.

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