22/02/2008 - 16:11

Portman profit slides

22/02/2008 - 16:11

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Portman Ltd reported a full year net profit for 2007 of $96.6 million, down almost 17 per cent compared with the previous year, blaming the rising Australian dollar, hedge book movements, higher costs and an unfavourable sales mix.

Portman profit slides

Portman Ltd reported a full year net profit for 2007 of $96.6 million, down almost 17 per cent compared with the previous year, blaming the rising Australian dollar, hedge book movements, higher costs and an unfavourable sales mix.

 

 

The release for the year's results are below:

Portman Limited (ASX: PMM) today reported a fourth-quarter 2007 unaudited net profit of $19.0 million or 10.81 cents per share. (All per-share amounts are "diluted."). This compares with net profit of $32.8 million or 18.66 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2006. Full year net profit for the year ending 31 December 2007 is $96.6 million or 55.00 cents per share compared with net profit of $115.4 million or 65.66 cents per share in 2006.

The full-year decrease in net profit after tax of $18.7 million was comprised of a $26.9 million decrease in pre-tax profit, net of $8.2 million decrease in income taxes. The pre-tax earnings decrease of $26.9 million was due primarily to:
- an appreciation in the Australian dollar relative to the US Dollar $40.9 million;
- mark-to-market adjustment on the hedge book, unfavourable $21.7 million reflecting the fair value movement in the time value of option based hedges;
- increased price and spending on costs of goods sold $25.9 million which includes changeover costs relating to the new mining contractor;
- an unfavourable sales mix of $6.9 million; and
- shipping and selling costs increased by $6.8 million primarily due to increased sales royalties and ship loading costs.
These variances were partially offset by:
- higher selling price, $54.2 million; and
- a favourable sales volume variance $19.5 million (net of cost of goods sold)

Although net profit before mark to market on hedging decreased slightly year on year, 2007 was a positive year for Portman due to the significant increase in tonnes sold from the Koolyanobbing operation. This is despite a cyclone in January causing delays at Esperance, two derailments during the year and some losses being incurred due to on going rail re-sleepering of the interstate line. In addition the changeover to a new mining contractor occurred with minimal disruption to mining operations.
Capital Expenditure
The Company's 2007 capital expenditure program supporting process improvements and improved quality control totalled $44.9 million (which includes $20.3 million in finance leases relating to new mining equipment), which was funded from current cash flow. This is slightly lower than expected for the year due to the timing of delivery of the new mining equipment. Capital expenditure in 2006, which included the approved expansion to 8 million tonnes per annum, totalled $43.2 million.
Inventory
At 31 December 2007 Portman had 1.2 million tonnes of finished product inventory, 0.3 million tonnes higher than at 31 December 2006.
Liquidity
At 31 December 2007, Portman had $145.8 million of cash and cash equivalents and $51.1 million in held to maturity investments exceeding 90 days. At 31 December 2006, Portman had $123.6 million of cash and cash equivalents. The $73.3 million increase in liquid assets primarily reflects increased sales prices and sales volumes.
Pricing Outlook
There has been a reported settlement of a 65% increase in pricing for iron ore fines for 2008. Portman is incorporating this into its estimates for pricing projections for lump. However, negotiations are still underway and there may be changes to the pricing for fines. In addition, lump may settle at different pricing levels.
Outlook
Portman's estimate of 2008 production is 7.9 million tonnes which includes 7.6 million from the Koolyanobbing operation. Portman's estimate of 2008 sales is 8.0 million tonnes of which 7.7 million tonnes relates to the Koolyanobbing operation.
Portman expects revenues per tonne of approximately US$88 in 2008. This estimate assumes a 65% increase in the 2008 international settlement price for lump and fines, which, as stated above, is still subject to change.
Portman expects costs per tonne of approximately A$53 in 2008. This estimate includes an expanded A$25 million, or A$3 per tonne, exploration and evaluation program at the Company's Koolyanobbing operations targeted at expanding Portman's iron ore reserves in Western Australia.

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