MELBOURNE, May 8 (Reuters) - Explosives and fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot Ltd reported an 11 percent rise in half-year underlying profit on Tuesday as cost cuts offset weak commodity prices and said the outlook was positive, with a pick-up in U.S. coal output.
The world no.2 maker of industrial explosives said net profit before one-offs rose to A$152.1 million ($112.3 million)for the six months to March from A$137.1 million a year earlier. That was roughly in line with a forecast of A$154 million from one analyst, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Earnings before interest and tax grew 23 percent on record earnings from explosives and a contribution from Incitec’s new ammonia plant in the United States, with cost savings of A$64 million offsetting low fertiliser prices.
With the Waggaman plant in Lousiana up and running, the United States made up more than half of the group’s earnings.
“Continued growth in the quarry & construction sector, together with coal sector market share gains, are expected to benefit Americas earnings in the second half,” Incitec Pivot said. ($1 = 1.3546 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sonali Paul)