PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Coal miner Whitehaven Coal has reported a 30% drop in revenue for the interim period ending December, as coal prices tumbled.
The ASX-listed miner on Thursday reported that revenue for the six months under review reached A$885.1-million, down from the A$1.2-billion achieved in the previous corresponding period, as average achieved prices fell from A$155/t to A$108/t.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the same period were down 68%, from A$550.8-million to A$177.3-million, while net profits after tax were down 91%, from A$305.8-million to A$27.4-million.
“The first-half result has been impacted by a softening of the Newcastle index thermal coal price. More subdued pricing, in combination with a number of transient production challenges and higher unit costs, has given rise to a more testing first half,” said MD and CEO Paul Flynn.
The trade dispute between the US and China during 2019 contributed to softness in global demand and in demand for thermal coal, and contributed to weakness in the seaborne thermal coal price, while low European gas prices and an increase in the European price of carbon also weighed upon coal prices.
Run-of-mine coal production for the interim period was down 30% on the previous corresponding period, to just over 6-million tonnes, down from 8.5-million tonnes, while saleable coal production was down 14%, from 7.6-million tonnes to 6.5-million tonnes.
Coal sales for the six months under review were up 15%, from 8.3-million tonnes to 8.4-million tonnes, as the sale of purchased coal increased by 80%, from 774 000 t to 1.3-million tonnes.
Looking ahead to the full 2020, Whitehaven was expecting run-of-mine production to reach between 20-million and 22-million tonnes, while managed coal sales are expected to reach between 19-million and 20-million tonnes, excluding the sale of purchased coal.