11 May 2015

Incitec Pivot profit jumps 27 per cent as Aussie dollar drops

Incitec Pivot managing director James Fazzino will lean on the competition watchdog to ensure Dutch energy giant Shell's mammoth $91 billion acquisition of BG Group will not disadvantage energy-intensive manufacturers.

Mr Fazzino has previously called Australia's lack of an energy policy "a train wreck" as the rising price of gas on the nation's east coast hits manufacturers and massive new export terminals in Queensland prepare to ship gas offshore.

"The broad concern [with the Shell offer] is the industry doesn't need more consolidation," Mr Fazzino said on Monday.

"We will be keen to be part of the conversation. To talk to Shell about what it means and to talk to the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission]".

Last month lobby group Manufacturing Australia, which represents Incitec and other big energy users like CSR and BlueScope Steel, said up to 83,000 manufacturing jobs were at risk if the government did not fix the gas market.

The lobbying effort has prompted the Abbott government to ask the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into competition in the gas market.

Mr Fazzino's comments come as Incitec, a $6.3 billion explosives and fertiliser group, reported a 27 per cent rise in net profit for the six months ended March 31 to $146.4 million.

Group revenue rose 6 per cent to $1.6 billion, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 12 per cent to $215.6 million.