Noble Group reports Q2 loss of US$128.3m due to restructuring expenses

Noble Group reports Q2 loss of US$128.3m due to restructuring expenses

SINGAPORE: Noble Group, which is pursuing a US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion) debt restructuring to stay afloat, reported a second-quarter net loss of US$128 million because of restructuring expenses.

Once Asia's largest commodity trader, Noble has shrunk its business after selling billions of dollars of assets, taking hefty writedowns and cutting hundreds of jobs. Its restructuring plan gained ground last month when it won over a key shareholder with a sweetened equity offer.

The company, which had forecast a quarterly loss of about US$115 million to US$140 million, said performance continued to be impacted by "ongoing constraints on liquidity and availability of competitive trade finance to support operations".

Noble posted a net loss of US$128.3 million in the April to June quarter, wider than a loss of US$72 million reported in the first quarter. During the second quarter of 2017, it booked a loss of US$1.75 billion, hit by writedowns.

The last time Noble made a profit was in the quarter ending in December 2016. In the latest quarter, revenue from continuing operations fell 29 per cent from a year earlier to US$1.12 billion.

Noble, founded more than 30 years ago by Richard Elman, who rode a commodities bull run to build one of the world's biggest traders, was plunged into crisis in February 2015 when Iceberg Research questioned its books. Noble has stood by its accounting.

Noble's market value has plunged to just US$118 million from US$6 billion in February 2015, as the company reported record losses, sold many businesses, and lost its investment grade credit rating.

Source: Reuters/na(aj)