Nth Goonyella, Metropolitan drag down Peabody

PEABODY Energy’s fourth quarter Australian earnings have been crimped by $US100 million ($A113.9 million) due to the delayed longwall commissioning at its North Goonyella mine in Queensland and industrial action at its Metropolitan mine in New South Wales.
Nth Goonyella, Metropolitan drag down Peabody Nth Goonyella, Metropolitan drag down Peabody Nth Goonyella, Metropolitan drag down Peabody Nth Goonyella, Metropolitan drag down Peabody Nth Goonyella, Metropolitan drag down Peabody

North Goonyella, courtesy Peabody

Lou Caruana

Absent the impact from these events, Australian costs per short ton would have been approximately $5 lower for the quarter.

In 2013, the company made structural cost improvements in Australia by completing several owner-operator conversions and improving productivity at the pulverised coal injection mines, resulting in a 25% and 20% cost improvement at the respective operations.

Australian mining adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $316.6 million for full year 2013 was also affected by nearly $700 million related to lower pricing that was partly mitigated by a 4% reduction in unit costs.

Australian revenues of $2.9 billion were impacted by a 22% decline in revenues per short ton that was partially offset by a 6% rise in shipments.

Australia sales totalled 34.9 million short tons, including 15.9Mt of metallurgical coal and 11.4Mt of seaborne thermal coal.

US mining revenues of $4.01 billion were impacted by a 4% decline in both volumes and realised pricing.

Peabody’s overall 2013 adjusted EBITDA totalled $1.05 billion compared with $1.84 billion in 2012, primarily due to the impact of nearly $800 million from lower pricing that was partly offset by $340 million in cost improvements.

Peabody delivered on its 2013 objectives, with notable operating performance, structural cost improvements, disciplined capital spending and solid cash flow, Peabody Energy chairman and CEO Gregory Boyce said.

“Our leading presence in the high-growth Pacific Rim region and the lowest-cost US basins uniquely positions the company to manage near-term markets and have significant earnings leverage to volume and price as markets continue to improve,” he said.

US mining adjusted EBITDA declined 11% to $1.12 billion, driven by a decline in volumes and revenues per short ton.

This was partly offset by a 3% improvement in operating costs per short ton.

Overall, Peabody’s 2013 revenues of $7.01 billion were impacted by lower realised pricing for coal in Australia and the US.

Sales volumes increased 1% to 251.7Mt as higher Australian and trading and brokerage shipments offset a reduction in US volumes.

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