NOBLE GROUP: 2Q REVENUE: + $935 MLN
Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL), Asia's biggest commodity trader by revenue, said second-quarter profit rose 5 percent as it moved greater volumes.
Net income was $65.8 million in the three months ended June 30, compared with $62.8 million a year earlier, the Hong Kong-based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 13 percent to $23.6 billion. Noble shifted 72.3 million metric tons of commodities in the period, from 57.7 million tons a year ago.
Noble is moving away from full control of commodity assets and instead favoring investments in groups that manage such businesses. The strategy means the trader can secure raw materials for resale without being committed to the running of a mine or oil field. That and the sale of control of its food division to China's Cofco Corp. for $1.5 billion this year has freed more resources for new investments.
Noble in July said it formed an energy venture with private-equity firm EIG Global Energy Partners LLC to invest in assets worldwide. The venture, Harbour Energy Ltd., will own and operate energy extraction and processing assets, with Noble the preferred buyer and re-seller of its products.
That added to Noble's agreement in September with private-equity firm TPG to invest a combined $1 billion in X2 Resources, a company started last year by former executives of mining firm Xstrata Plc.
The quarterly result helped drive record first-half operating profit and volumes for Noble. The company's agricultural unit, which it is selling to Cofco, showed a substantial improvement, it said.
"We expect that this momentum will be reinforced further as our key partnerships, with COFCO, X2 Resources and now Harbour Energy, come on stream over the medium term," Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Alireza said in a statement.
Noble, whose second-largest investor is sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp., fell 1.4 percent to S$1.37 at the close in Singapore before the earnings were released.
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