Master Drilling, a world-leading drilling company, reported a small increase in interim profit as it brought two more raise bore drilling rigs into production during the period. Revenue for the six months to end-June increased by 12.5% to $60.52m because of the two new drills coming into production. Raise bore drills are used to create large diameter holes between underground tunnels or tunnels and the surface. However, the cost of sales for the period increased to $37.7m from $32m the year before. Profit for the six months rose to $10m from $9.7m and the company did not declare an interim dividend. "The stronger emerging-market currencies during the current reporting period, however, had an adverse impact on earnings," said CEO Danie Pretorius. Master Drilling has 106 raise bore drills and 33 slim drilling rigs. It expected to maintain its utilisation rate at about 70% for the balance of its financial year and intended pushing this up to the mid-70% range next year. Master Drilling...

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