Orica eyes expansion

Explosives supplier eyes expansion requiring fewer plants to be built.

Explosives and chemicals supplier Orica (ORI) says it can expand without building as many plants as it has done in the past.

Orica expects higher profits next year as key North American coal markets improve and the company sells more sophisticated explosives.

Chief executive Ian Smith said the company had boosted its cash flow by adopting a "capital light strategy".

"We're going to be expanding the company but we don't need to build as many plants as we have in the past," Mr Smith told the ABC's Inside Business program.

He said the company had external sources of supply.

A lot of capital had been invested into converting gas through ammonia to ammonium nitrate which is Orica's main source of explosives, he said.

"So why should we need to put in capital where we have the size to offer off-take agreements that are long-term and well priced."

He said the company would continue to invest heavily in the service area.

Orica last week said it expects net profit before material items in the 2013/14 year to exceed the $602 million it made in the 12 months to September 30, 2013.

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