Boart Longyear shares dive on 2013 outlook

Boart Longyear has found a new chief executive and chairman, but fears last year's revenue downturn will continue as clients turn the screws on contract negotiations in 2013.

The drilling company announced the appointments of outgoing Newmont Mining boss Richard O'Brien as its new chief executive and Barbara Jeremiah as chairman on Monday while reporting a 57 per cent slump in full year profit.

Net profit for the year to December 31 fell to $US68.2 million ($A66.58 million) from $US159.9 million ($A156.10 million) in 2011, reflecting the global slowdown in mining activity in the second half.

Revenue was flat at $US2.01 billion ($A1.96 billion) from $US2.02 billion ($A1.97 billion).

Interim chairman David McLemore said Boart would focus on costs and the revenue run-rate over 2013 would mirror the second half of 2012, which was much weaker than the first.

"In terms of where we are in actual contract negotiations I don't have it in a firm percentage point," he told analysts.

"We are behind on what we should have seen in a normal year. We're behind where we were last year.

"It's not 50 per cent, it's not a big number, but it's slower."

Major clients were not willing to commit to full year contracts but they were still paying 2012 prices while negotiations continued, he said.

Boart was also experiencing downward pressure on prices in relation to contracts that had been renegotiated.

Over the near term Boart would review processes in relation to costs and debt.

Mr McLemore described the recent downturn in the mining industry as a "cost reset" as the industry focused on costs.

Boart has cut its workforce by 500 since the start of the year, bringing the number of employees to 8650, down from 11,400 in mid-2012, with total redundancy costs of $30 million.

Boart shares dropped amid disappointment at outlook for the company, with the stock down 19 cents, or 8.8 per cent, at $1.95 at 1518 AEDT.

Morningstar analyst Ross MacMillan said investors were concerned about the outlook for 2013, which appeared weaker than expected.

"Effectively the downturn and the performance that they had on an operating revenue level will be seen across 2013," he said.

"The other thing that unsettled the market was that they're still in negotiations with customers concerning terms contracts."

Lengthy negotiations probably meant mining companies were negotiating hard and pushing down Boart's pricing.

Investors were also worried that net debt was creeping up to around $40-$50 million.

Meanwhile, Mr O'Brien will farewell Newmont on March 1 and take up his new role at Boart a month later.

He replaces Craig Kipp, who was sacked last October after four years at the company's helm.

Barbara Jeremiah will take over as chairman from March 1, replacing Mr McLemore who is stepping down from the job but remaining on the board.

Mr McLemore said Mr O'Brien knew Boart's customer base well and would be effective in negotiating.

Boart slashed its final partly-franked dividend to one US cent a share from 5.6 US cents, reducing the total for the year to 7.4 US cents from 10.4 US cents.

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