Fertiliser and explosives producer Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) has reported a 27 per cent increase in first-half profits compared to the previous corresponding period. In its Half Yearly Report and Accounts announcement released to the ASX on Monday, Incitec reported a $146.4m first-half profit for the half-year up to 31 March 2015. Revenue was up 6 per cent to $1,594.9m during the same period. The company’s operating expenses rose by 72.2 per cent to $115.2m. It decreased its current liabilities by 12.44 per cent to $720.6m. Earnings per share (EPS) for the period came to 8.8c per share. The company also declared an unfranked interim dividend of 4.4c per share.
Incitec attributed much of its success to the weaker Australian dollar. Chief Executive Officer James Fazzino also cited the company’s business excellence (BEx) productivity program, which helped increase manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies. "In total, BEx has contributed some $82 million since we began four years ago," he said. “BEx continued to produce results in a period when the company confronted challenging markets with the global mining downturn and drought in much of eastern Australia."
The report also noted improved conditions in the company’s embattled Moranbah explosives plant, which improved its earnings by $12.1m. Incitec’s Dyno Nobel mining explosives division reported an increase in earnings before interest and tax of 5 per cent to $159.8m. Shares of IPL have fallen 13.5c, or 3.45 per cent, to $3.78 per share around 1:15pm on Monday. IPL has advanced 33.87 per cent in the last 12 months and 18.34 per cent so far this year.