Iluka in red despite revenue surge

ILUKA Resources has delivered a loss for 2017 despite posting revenue above the A$1 billion barrier thanks to a stronger market for its products, but despite the after-tax loss of $172 million the company has more than halved debt, announced a dividend and a new dividend reinvestment plan.

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The potential for a loss was flagged by Iluka last year by a series of impairments – $151 million impairment on the Hamilton plant that was placed on care and maintenance in October and a $30 million impairment for its investment in UK-based titanium technology company Metalysis – and a $127 million increase in rehabilitation provision for closed sites in the US.

“Our reported loss is disappointing; but the underlying financial performance is encouraging, with group EBITDA doubling from last year, reflecting the improvement in mineral sands markets,” Iluka managing director Tom O’Leary said this morning.

The company forecasts a positive market for both zircon and rutile, with the expectation that moderate demand growth and tight supply conditions will continue this year.<...