Noble Group swings to second-quarter net loss, restructuring gathers pace

Revenue at the Hong Kong-based company falls 32 percent to $12.5 billion.

Struggling Noble Group reported a second-quarter loss and said it will cut debt further as the commodities trader closed some of its low-return businesses to weather a brutal commodities downturn and regain investor confidence.

"We continue to rationalize our businesses in order to focus on liquidity and to reallocate capital to the franchise businesses that offer strong immediate returns," the Singapore-listed company said in a statement on Thursday, adding that it expects to complete this restructuring by the end of the year.

Revenue at the Hong Kong-based company fell 32 percent to $12.5 billion in the quarter ended June and it swung to a net loss of $54.9 million from a profit of $62.6 million a year ago.

The quarterly results are the first after CEO Yusuf Alireza quit unexpectedly two months ago. In June, the company unveiled a $500 million cash call after finalizing a multi-billion dollar credit facility and said founder and Chairman Richard Elman would step down within 12 months.

Noble's troubles started 18 months ago when its accounts were questioned by Iceberg Research, sparking a collapse in its share price and ratings agency downgrades, forcing a sale of its assets to allay financing worries and weather the commodities downturn.

Noble said the sale process of its retail energy unit in North America was progressing well and is targeted to close in the next few months.