February 28, 2018 / 10:28 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Orica takes first half charges of $233 mln -statement

(Adds details on charges, plant shutdowns, outlook)

March 1 (Reuters) - The world’s No. 1 commercial explosives maker Orica Ltd said on Thursday that first half earnings before interest and tax would be hit by a range of charges amounting to A$300 million ($232.95 million).

The charges include a loss of about A$55 million on its U.S.-based assets because of new federal tax code in the United States, the company said in a statement to the exchange.

Orica said another charge was for about A$17 million in the first half for unplanned maintenance shutdowns at the Yarwun and Kooragang Island plants.

Among the charges were A$15 million because of weather problems in North America, “continued challenges in the cyanide market” and the Minova business’ underperformance.

However, Orica said it expected stronger performance in the second half of fiscal 2018. It expects volume growth and job cuts to save A$30 million a year fiscal year 2019 onward.

The company was on track to deliver full year sales volumes at the upper end of its guidance, Orica said.

Orica reports its first half results on May 7. ($1 = 1.2878 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Grant McCool)

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