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Noble Group Q1 profit falls 30%; offers more disclosures

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Noble Group, which has rejected claims of improper accounting, reported a 30 per cent fall in quarterly profit and provided more disclosures related to its fair value contracts.

[SINGAPORE] Noble Group, which has rejected claims of improper accounting, reported a 30 per cent fall in quarterly profit and provided more disclosures related to its fair value contracts.

Asia's biggest commodity trader by sales said net fair value on commodity contracts and derivative financial instruments fell to US$4.2 billion in January-March from US$4.6 billion a year ago.

The US$393 million decline was largely due to the roll-off of short term contracts in its oil liquids division, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Noble is under attack from Iceberg Research which has claimed that the company had inflated assets by billions of dollars through aggressive accounting, a charge Noble has rejected.

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Hong Kong-headquartered Noble said it had integrated some of the disclosure protocols for the quarterly unaudited results and other filings that were only previously included in its annual report. "In addition, we have adopted EBIT level segmental profit and loss disclosure while we have also split our energy coal and oil liquids business into one reporting Segment and our power and gas, along with Noble Americas Energy Solutions, into another," the company said in its results announcement.

Noble is one of the largest Asian companies ever to be targeted by independent researchers that question its financials.

Noble's Singapore shares have lost as much as 32 per cent since Iceberg issued the first of three detailed reports in mid-February alleging improper accounting. Noble has linked Iceberg to an employee it fired in 2013 and started legal action against him in Hong Kong.

Noble's shares ended 4.1 per cent higher on Tuesday ahead of the results, which were brought forward by two days.

REUTERS

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