May 8, 2018 / 11:37 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Incitec Pivot posts 3.3 pct fall in H1 profit

(Adds context on one-off charges, details on capital spend)

May 9 (Reuters) - Explosives and fertilizer maker Incitec Pivot Ltd said on Wednesday its first-half underlying profit fell 3.3 percent, hit by a stronger local currency, unplanned outages, and maintenance at some plants.

The world’s No.2 maker of industrial explosives said net profit before one-off items fell to A$147.1 million ($109.6 million) in the six months ended March 31 from A$152.1 million a year earlier.

The company announced an interim dividend of 4.5 Australian cents per share.

Half-year revenue rose 9.6 percent to A$1.68 billion from a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Incitec said it expects to spend about A$220 million in sustenance capital for full-year 2018, driven by maintenance at its Cheyenne and St Helens operations in the United States and its Australian Phosphate Hill fertiliser plant.

Bottom line net profit fell to A$7.6 million, largely due to a previously flagged A$236 million impairment charge at its Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific arm, reflecting the loss of two key Australian contracts amid an oversupply of ammonium nitrate and rising gas costs.

Incitec lost contracts to arch rival Orica Ltd for the supply of ammonium nitrate to miners BHP Billiton and Roy Hill in Western Australia. The Roy Hill loss resulted in a one-time charge of A$5 million. Incitec will stop supplying BHP from November 2019.

Partly offsetting the pain, the company booked a one-time gain of A$96.5 million due to the cut in the U.S. company tax rate.

Orica, the world’s top supplier of commercial explosives, said on Monday its first-half underlying profit fell 37 percent, as unplanned plant shutdowns and bad weather crimped production. ($1 = 1.3419 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Nicole Pinto in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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