Swick's profit plunges 80 per cent

Drilling contractor Swick Mining Services has suffered an 83 per cent fall in net profit to $1.5 million.

Swick said reduced demand for drilling and the suspension of its underground division in the last quarter saw revenue fall 20 per cent to $118 million.

The suspension followed an unscheduled mine shutdown.

Revenue and earnings of $16.5 million, down 46 per cent, were slightly better than indicated by earlier market guidance.

Managing director Kent Swick said business had picked up in the second half after a poor first half.

"The first half saw a consistent decrease in drilling spend by our existing clients who cut back where possible any discretionary spend, Mr Swick said.

"The second half saw a recovery due to additional work won by the business, and in the latter part of the year many of our clients that had previously suspended rigs recommenced drilling."

The company will pay a dividend of 0.2 cents a share.

Swick's shares were down 0.5 cents to 28 cents at 12.25pm.