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Drilling group's profit soars

ANGLO AMERICAN'S recent announcement that it plans to dispose of non-core assets including mining supply and contract drilling group Boart Longyear, is followed by news that Boart's first half operating profit was up 283% on last year.

'The dust has settled and our global management team is energised and focused on bedding down the strategic focus on our own core businesses, 'says deputy chairman Mike Moore.

'As the mining, drilling and construction industries emerge from the latest cyclical downturn, these profit figures confirm that Boart Longyear's fundamentals are sound. '

Sales in the first half were up 5%, with all regions performing strongly - though lower gold production in South Africa and the turmoil in Zimbabwe caused below budget performance in subSaharan Africa.

'The rallying of economies in the Far East, robust construction markets in Europe and North America and developments such as the privatisation of Zambia's copper mines have all had a positive impact, 'Moore said.

'With our investment in technological innovation, an emphasis on differentiated products and increased focus on lead time reduction, we expect to see further improvements in the second half of 2000. '

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