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Boart Longyear profit dives, finds new CEO

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AAP

2013-02-18

Drilling company Boart Longyear has appointed Richard O'Brien, the outgoing boss of gold producer Newmont Mining, as its new chief executive.

The group also said Barbara Jeremiah would take over as chairman from March 1, replacing David McLemore who is stepping down from the job but remaining on the board.

Boart said Mr O'Brien was expected to start in the top job on April 1, replacing Craig Kipp who was sacked last October after four years at the company's helm.

News of the two major appointments came as Boart announced 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 the previous year, 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).

The group slashed its final partly-franked dividend to one US cent a share from 5.6 US cents.

The total dividend for the year fell to 7.4 US cents from 10.4 US cents.

Mr McLemore said conditions had stabilised across Boart's key markets and the revenue run-rate over 2013 would mirror the second half of 2012.

"We remain alert to an uptick in activity and with a leaner cost base, the company is positioned to respond rapidly and profitably to meet new demand as and when it emerges," he said in a statement on Monday.

"A key focus over the near term will be reviewing processes across the business leading to a cost and debt structure that is more resilient to down cycles."

Mr McLemore said Boart expected to extract more costs from the business in the first half of 2013.

Mr McLemore has served as Boart's interim chief executive since last October and chairman since August 2010.

Ms Jeremiah said Mr O'Brien was well suited to lead Boart.

"Richard's strategic focus, financial expertise and appreciation for the complexities of operating globally will benefit the company and our shareholders," she said.

Mr O'Brien said he looked forward to "building upon the company's remarkable heritage and innovative spirit to deliver increased value to Boart Longyear's customers and shareholders".

Boart's shares were down five cents, or 2.3 per cent, at $2.09 at 1019 AEDT.