Whitehaven's results show there's still money in Australian coal

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

Whitehaven Coal is back in profit and the Australian miner says there’s more on the way.

Net profit hit $7.8 million for the first half compared to a loss of $77.9 million in the same six months a year ago. That’s a $85.7 million improvement.

Sales revenue jumped 54% to $574.3 million as Whitehaven dug and shipped more coal, about 7.3 million tonnes, an increase of 55%.

And costs fell again driven by production inefficiencies. The cost per tonne dropped 8% to $58, the sixth half year in a row to record a fall.

It’s all about having the right coal.

“Whitehaven’s high quality coal — which produces more energy and fewer emissions per tonne than almost all competing coals — is being well received in our Asian
markets where there is strong and growing demand for cleaner coal,” says CEO Paul Flynn.

Despite falling demand from China, Whitehaven is positive about the medium and long term outlook for its coal.

“Our coal is highly sought after by customers and countries that have an appreciation for the critical role high quality coal does play in creating an economically competitive, low emissions future,” says Flynn.

He says Whitehaven’s financial position is expected to continue to improve over the next three years, driven by further increases in production and improving margins.

Net debt, lower at $924.9 million, is forecast to reduce further in the second half.

Whitehaven Coal owns four open cut mines — Maules Creek, Werris Creek, Tarrawonga and Rocglen — one large underground mine at Narrabri and operates a coal handling and processing plant at Gunnedah.

Detail of the half year results:

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