Ausdrill in the hole

AUSDRILL has recorded a loss for fiscal 2014, echoing supplier woes related to pinched exploration budgets in the mining industry over the year.

Staff Reporter

The driller marked a $A43.9 million loss after tax and an impairment of $77.9 million in the carrying value of the company’s assets, first flagged earlier this month.

This result was compared to a $A90.4 million profit after tax and impairment in the previous year.

Operating profit before tax was also down 67.8% to $29.1 million, with a reduction in activities across all segments of the company’s business.

Sales revenue was down 26.8% to $826.3 million and earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation were down 36.3% to $173.7 million.

“There is no hiding from the fact this has been a tough year for the company and indeed for the entire industry,” Ausdrill managing director Ron Sayers said.

“The slow-down in mining industry activity in both Australia and Africa that we have witnessed for the past two years has continued.

“However, there are some positive signs that trading conditions are improving. We believe the investment we have made in developing our people, acquiring equipment and growing the business places us in the best possible position to benefit from the turnaround when it arrives.”

Ausdrill said that provided there were not big falls in commodity prices from current levels, the mining downturn may have bottomed out or be close to the bottom.

It therefore projected an improved result for fiscal 2015, particularly in its Energy Drilling Australia and African mining services businesses.

However, any recovery was expected to be slow, with challenging market and mining industry conditions continuing in the year to come.

The company said it would continue to focus on the production phase of the mining cycle, with long-term contracts in place with major clients.