Penrice: hypothetical loss puts group into the red

A “hypothetical” accounting loss has put Australian soda ash producer Penrice Soda AUD 2.4 million into the red for the December 2008 half year.
Without a AUD 4.7 million unrealised loss from hedge …

A “hypothetical” accounting loss has put Australian soda ash producer Penrice Soda AUD 2.4 million into the red for the December 2008 half year. Without a AUD 4.7 million unrealised loss from hedge contracts, set up in mid-2008 before the Australian dollar and interest rates plummeted, the company made a AUD 2.3 million profit unchanged from the previous 1H. Chief executive Guy Roberts said the hedge losses, flagged to the market in 2008, were “completely hypothetical” but had to be included in mark-to-market accounting standards. “It“s a theoretical loss that will never be realised,” Mr Roberts said. Revenue for the group, however, rose 11% to AUD 74.1 million and underlying earnings rose 9% to AUD 6.3 million. Mr Roberts said the company achieved robust demand and higher prices for its chemicals in domestic and export markets and sales increased by 10% to AUD 63.4 million for the half. A falling Australian dollar was making its soda ash and sodium bicarbonate products more competitive to buyers in Asia, which would contribute to earnings.