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Boart Longyear posts big loss.
Boart Longyear posts big loss.

UPDATE 1.15pm: Investors have punished Boart Longyear shares after the company said it had made a steep loss and would review its operations after having slashed almost 3,500 jobs in the past year.

The world's largest drilling company predicts key commodity prices will remain weak in 2014.

This morning it posted a full year net loss of $US620 million ($A692.39 million) in 2013, down from a $US68 million profit in 2012, hit by $US461 million of restructuring costs and impairments after cutting 3,481 jobs during the year.

Chief executive Richard O'Brien has left the door open for more job losses and says the US-based company will leave all options on the table as it focuses on debt reduction and improving its capital structure.

"To that end, we have initiated a strategic review to ensure all options are considered carefully and completely, not only to meet today's needs but to position the business to capitalise on future opportunities," Mr O'Brien said in a statement.

Profitability would be influenced by price, productivity and management's ability to further control costs, he said.

Boart Longyear said 2013 had been a challenging year, with falling commodities prices and increased political and economic risk for mining activity.

Shares in the company closed down 6.5 cents, or 15.29 per cent, at 36 cents.

The company has not issued guidance for fiscal 2014 revenue, but says it expects primary factors driving its revenue, such as rig utilisation rates and product sales volumes, to remain consistent with fourth quarter levels.

The average rig utilisation rate for operating and assigned rigs fell to around 40 per cent in the 2013 fourth quarter, down from 60 per cent in the first quarter.

Revenue was $US1.22 billion ($A1.36 billion), down 39 per cent, from $US2.01 billion.

The company said excess global rig capacity could put further downward pressure on price in the drilling services business as commodity prices remain weak.

"Mining companies continue to reduce spend and focus on cost reduction," the company said.

Boart management would continue to pursue efficiencies such as wage freezes and changes to its bonus plan, the company said.

It also announced that deputy chairman of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and Ansel director Peter Day will join its board of directors.

Boar Longyear, which operates in 40 countries, did not declare a full year dividend.