Noble, the Hong Kong based group which manages the global supply chains of agricultural and energy products, metals and minerals, has reported a 40 per cent rise in operating profit to US$947 million (£580m) for the first half of 2011.
First half sales were a record $40bn (£24.5bn). Chief executive Ricardo Leiman said: “We are delighted that we are able to report record first half revenue, volume and operating income in a difficult and volatile business environment. Our new businesses and acquisitions are starting to illustrate their longer term potential, broadening and deepening the Group’s capabilities.”
Noble’s strategy is to build integrated supply chains, or pipelines, in commodity sectors and to control the critical stages of the supply process. This involves origination of product from low-cost producing countries, transport, storage, processing and delivery to markets with high structural growth in demand.
It has offices in 40 countries and its pipelines cover a range of products from coal, coffee and carbon credits to soybeans, sugar and steel.
In 2010, Noble turned over US$56.7bn (£34.75bn). Its Energy segment accounted for 65 per cent of sales. Other significant segments were: Agriculture, 21 per cent; Metals, Minerals & Ores, 12 per cent; and Logistics, 2 per cent.