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Whitehaven profits soar as prices recover

24th August 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Despite a fall in production, coal miner Whitehaven Coal has reported a solid 2023 financial year, with revenues and profits increasing.

The ASX-listed company has reported a 23% increase in revenue for the year ended June, reaching A$6-billion, up from the 4.9-billion reported in the 2022 financial year, while net profits after tax increased by 37% in the same period, from A$1.95-billion to A$2.6-billion.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased by 30%, from A$3-billion to A$3.9-billion.

“Once again we saw a solid improvement in our safety results for the year and our focus on environmental management delivered a very good outcome with zero environmental enforceable actions. This is a reflection of the commitment and focus of our people to prioritise safety and environmental management at all times,” said MD and CEO Paul Flynn.

“Record coal prices and our portfolio of high-quality thermal and metallurgical products allowed Whitehaven to optimise the sales mix for the 2023 financial year and maximise our exposure to the strong gC NEWC thermal index. With 94% of our sales going into the higher priced thermal market, we delivered an average realised price of A$445/t.

“Production was impacted in the first half of the year as a result of localised flooding cutting off access to a number of our operations for several weeks. Labour shortages also contributed to the 9% year-on-year reduction in run-of-mine (RoM) production of 18.2-million tonnes,” said Flynn.

Saleable coal production also declined by 9% during the quarter, to 15.7-million tonnes, with total coal sales down 12% to 16.6-million tonnes.

“With strong underlying market demand for high-calorific value, high-quality thermal coal and metallurgical coal, coupled with forecast supply tightness, we recognise the opportunity and importance to improve operational performance,” Flynn said on Thursday.

“Targeted recruitment and retention initiatives are starting to deliver better outcomes; we have a number of business improvement initiatives underway to strengthen operational reliability and efficiencies; and at Narrabri we have moved to the shallower longwall panels, which are expected to bring improved operating conditions.”

For the 2024 financial year, Whitehaven is targeting RoM production of between 18.7-million and 20.7-million tonnes, while managed coal sales expected to reach between 16-million and 17.5-million tonnes.

The miner has set a capital expenditure target of between A$460-million and A$570-million, excluding deferred settlement payments for past acquisitions.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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