* Some units operated below potential due to capital
* Posts full year profit of $8.7 mln vs huge loss year ago
(Adds details from results)
By Anshuman Daga
SINGAPORE, Feb 27 Noble Group Ltd
reported a net profit of $8.7 million for full-year 2016 versus
a huge loss in the previous year when the Singapore-listed
commodities trader restructured its business operations, and it
outlined further cost cuts for this year.
The Hong Kong-headquartered company is slowly recovering
after the restructuring, and is cutting debt and boosting
liquidity amid a long-term downtrend in commodity prices. In
2015, it reported a net loss of $1.67 billion, its first in
nearly two decades.
"Management continues to pursue the same goals that we laid
out previously - to rationalise low return or loss making
businesses while devoting resources to those core businesses in
which we have a competitive advantage and where we expect to see
continued strong returns over a cycle," Noble said in a
statement on Monday.
Noble's shares have jumped by about a third this year but
are still down about 70 percent since mid-Feb 2015 when its
troubles started as its accounts were questioned by Iceberg
This sparked a dramatic collapse in its share price and
stoked ratings agency downgrades, forcing a sale of its assets
and a fund raising to allay financing worries in a brutal
commodities market. Noble has stood by its accounts.
Noble's revenue declined 30 percent to $46.5 billion last
year, with some of its businesses operating below their earnings
potential due to capital constraints. Net debt to capital fell
to 42 percent from 55 percent a year ago. It reported operating
income from supply chains of $670 million and set an annual
target of $1 billion for 2018-19.
Citing sources, Reuters reported this month that China's
state-owned Sinochem was in early talks to take an equity stake
in Noble. Noble subsequently said it was holding talks on a
possible strategic investment in the firm but did not give
details of the party it was involved with.
On Monday, Noble said it had no update to offer on its
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar