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Noble Full-Year Profit Declines 48% on Loss From Yancoal Stake

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Noble Group Ltd., Asia’s largest commodities trader by sales, said 2013 profit slumped 48 percent mainly due to a non-cash loss related to its stake in coal miner Yancoal Australia Ltd.

Net income was $243.5 million in the year ended Dec. 31, down from $471.3 million a year earlier, the Hong Kong-based company said today in a statement. That compares with the $288.7 million average of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales were a record $97.9 billion.

Profit in the third-quarter was dragged down when Noble accounted for its share of Yancoal’s A$749.4 million ($675 million) loss in the first six months. Full-year results were also affected by an operating loss at its agricultural unit which faced “continued headwinds,” Noble said today.

“I am confident that Noble has taken the steps to ensure that our returns will start to normalize as our production partners find our customer franchise ever more valuable in an over supplied market,” Noble’s Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Alireza said today in the statement.

The stock slid 3.9 percent to 98.5 Singapore cents at the close of trading, bringing this year’s decline to 7.9 percent. The announcement was made after market trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Yun in Hong Kong at myun11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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