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Noble Group net profit still mired in red ink with US$99m Q3 loss

CONSTRAINTS on liquidity and availability of trade finance continued to dampen Noble's performance in its third quarter, along with the impact of restructuring expenses associated with implementing its restructuring.

The commodity trader's third-quarter net loss narrowed to US$99 million, from a net loss of US$1.17 billion in the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday evening.

For the three months ended Sept 30, revenue sank 17.4 per cent to US$1.21 billion from US$1.46 billion in the year-ago period.

The contraction in revenue was due to a 16 per cent fall in revenues from its metals, minerals and ores segment, an 11 per cent fall in revenues from its energy segment as well as revenue loss from its discontinued businesses, it said.

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However, Noble posted an operating profit of US$55.7 million, reversing the operating loss US$420 million that it recorded in the year-ago period.

In particular, this was down to supply chain assets recording net profit of US$1.9 million. Supply chain assets recorded a net loss of US$411.9 million a year ago.

Restructuring expenses for the third quarter was US$32.8 million.

Noble handled trading volumes of 12.5 million tonnes, down from 16.9 million a year earlier. 

Net liability value per share deepened to 86 US cents, from 60 US cents nine months ago.

In late October, Noble flagged that it expected to report a quarterly net loss of between US$90 million and US$115 million. For the nine-month period, it expected to tally a net loss of between US$290 million and US$315 million.

Noble shares closed S$0.002 or 2.3 per cent higher at S$0.089 on Tuesday before the earnings announcement.