, Singapore

Noble Group full-year net profit almost halves to $243m

Agriculture segment dragged down the group.

Noble Group reported a full-year net profit of $243m for the financial year 2013 (FY 2013), or a 48% drop from the previous year.

Among its three segments, the group's Agriculture segment proved to be the most disappointing, as it suffered continued headwinds, the group explained in its investor presentation for its FY 2013 results.

Notably, Agriculture segment's operating income from supply chains went to the red with an $83m loss -- a big reversal from the $180m profit from FY 2012. Meanwhile, the Energy and Metals, Minerals & Ores (MMO) segments fared better with $1,358m and $146m operating income from supply chains, respectively.

Management noted though that the company has started initiatives that have started to improve earnings throughout the year, as seen in the 0.6% gross margin in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q 2013) compared to the -2.1% registered in the first quarter (1Q 2013).

Management said the Energy segment experienced strong growth on the back of key strategic relationships, such as its ability to build a portfolio of long term domestic supply contracts in emerging economies.

The MMO segment also found success in diversifying its portfolio in terms of product and geographic reach.

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