Oxford reports higher net loss but looks ahead

OXFORD Resource Partners plans to idle its Illinois Basin operations by the end of the year after the mines’ lower production volumes continued to drag down the company’s second-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

Staff Reporter
Oxford reports higher net loss but looks ahead

Adjusted EBITDA was $13.9 million for the June 2013 quarter, a decrease of just under $1 million from $14.7 million for the previous corresponding period.

The Northern Appalachia-focused company reported a net loss of $4.1 million, compared to $1.4 million for Q2 2012.

The Q2 2013 net loss included $2.8 million in fees associated with the partnership’s debt refinancing.

Oxford closed on a $175 credit facility in June.

"We successfully completed our refinancing in June, which greatly increases our financial flexibility," Oxford president and chief executive officer Charles Ungurean said.

"By extending the maturity of our debt and increasing availability under our revolver, we have enhanced our liquidity, giving us a runway to execute our strategic plan.

“We continue to focus on increasing productivity across our operations and, with our improved liquidity, are in a stronger position to participate when coal markets improve."

Quarterly coal sales revenue increased 2.6% to $51.21 per ton but was offset by an increase in coal sale cash costs of 3.1% to $42.93/t as a result of the lower Illinois Basin production.

During the quarter the company has been rationalizing its production in the Illinois Basin and transferring excess equipment to its Northern Appalachian mines to reduce capital spending.

Based on current market conditions, Oxford said it expected to idle the operations by the end of the year.

The company added that it continued to pursue the sale of the remaining equipment, which has a current net book value of $3.9 million.

Ungurean is looking ahead with positivity at the coal market and the company’s position following this challenging quarter.

“We were able to achieve these results in a challenging coal market,” he said in a conference call Tuesday.

“Importantly, our customer relationships remain very strong.

“We are almost fully committed and priced for 2013 and for '14 our projected sales are 81% committed with 49% being priced, while the other 32% is not yet priced.”

Ungurean said higher natural gas prices in the region kicked off a gradual switch back to coal.

“While this has not yet translated into increased demand, utility coal stockpiles have been declining in our region,” he said.

“As the coal market improves we will be able to increase our production by 5% to 10% with little additional capital expenditure.”

As of June 30 the company had $6 million of cash in the bank.

For the full year, Oxford expects to produce between 6.1 million tons and 6.4Mt and sell between 6.6Mt and 6.9Mt of thermal coal.

It said the average selling price was projected to be $50.50-52/t, with an anticipated average cost of $43-44.50/t.

Adjusted EBITDA was expected to be in the range of $45-48 million, with capital expenditures between $22 million and $25 million, Oxford said.


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