The Courier-Mail

Clive in the red ink again

Palmer suffers $55m loss on resources and metals

- LIAM WALSH

BUSINESSMA­N turned politician Clive Palmer has suffered a $55 million loss on one of his main business arms.

The red ink for Mr Palmer’s QNI Resources and QNI Metals in 2014 is actually an improvemen­t on a year earlier, when it lost $169 million.

And nickel prices, which are linked to QNI’s fortunes, are tipped to rise.

But accounts show QNI, which included Mr Palmer’s Townsville nickel refinery, tourism and shipping operations, has been cost-cutting to boost cashflows.

Queensland-based Mr Palmer made a fortune in real estate and iron ore and has been a polarising entreprene­ur often entangled in business litigation. He has launched his own political party and is a federal MP.

This week BRW estimated his wealth at $1.4 billion.

He was a director of both QNI companies on and off during fiscal 2014, as was his nephew, Clive Mensink, who is now sole director of both.

Business records yesterday confirmed Mr Palmer, 61, was both QNI units’ ultimate shareholde­r.

Because of the private nature of his businesses, QNI accounts only give a cloudy view of the empire.

QNI Resources’ revenues improved to $529 million while sales costs decreased to $542 million. But mystery surrounds some figures – it got almost $20 million in what was described as “other income”, while $15.7 million was spent on “other administra­tive expenses”.

The revelation comes as Mr Palmer signals his intention to build up to eight 30-storey towers at his golf course and resort sites on Robina-Merrimac floodplain in one of the biggest planning applicatio­ns ever put to the Gold Coast Council.

The former Avica resort on Gooding Drive will be transforme­d into Green Heart Gardens, a 75ha project which will have up to 5000 residentia­l dwellings and high-rises.

The projects dwarf the $1 billion Pacific View Estate earmarked for Worongary which will have 3500 dwellings with room for 10,000 people.

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