MELBOURNE, Australia, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Orica (ASX: ORI) today announced a statutory net profit after tax and individual material items of $267 million for the half year ended 31 March 2013, up $14 million or 6% compared with the previous corresponding period (pcp) of $253 million. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the period rose 6% on the pcp to $442 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was $578 million, up 8%. The Orica Board has declared an interim dividend of 39 cents per ordinary share (cps), franked at 15 cents cps. The half year result reflects the early benefits associated with an increased service offering and an improved product mix, in addition to Orica's renewed focus on better manufacturing performance. Orica's EBIT result however was offset by the significant weakness in demand and pricing for ground support products and services and higher depreciation costs. In Mining Services, a $435 million EBIT (up 5% on pcp) reflected steady pricing for explosives, success in providing value added products and services in explosives and improved pricing and stronger demand for sodium cyanide (up 6%). Outside the Australia Pacific region, results were impacted by weakness in United States coal markets and most West European markets. Chemicals achieved a 13% increase in EBIT to $56 million ( $49 million in pcp), including due to improved conditions in the New Zealand dairy sector and Bronson & Jacobs volume and market growth. Results for ground support products and services reflect difficult market conditions affecting demand in all regions. The global integration of these operations, primarily into Mining Services, has progressed rapidly towards full completion this financial year.