The diversified miner’s net profit after tax was up more than 30% to $A90.7 million after a good production year, which led to a 24% increase in coal exports at higher coal prices.
The increased profits were also jollied along with New Hope’s record year of coal throughput at the Queensland Bulk Handling facility at the Port of Brisbane.
The bulk handling facility became a wholly owned subsidiary of New Hope in August last year.
It hit a record throughput in 2008 of nearly 5.5Mt loaded on to 82 ships, a 21% increased in exports compared to the previous year.
New Hope chairman Robert Millner said the robust result was offset by a strong Australian dollar, acquisitions and lower interest revenue due to exploration and project expenditure.
Millner said while the $2.45 billion sale of the company’s New Saraji project to the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) in July did not contribute to the result, the proceeds would allow New Hope to work on expansion plans.
“We will be able to continue to expand our New Acland mine and expand the QBH facility to handle the expected industry requirements from South East Queensland,” Millner said.
New Hope was optimistic about its future predicting an operating profit after tax for 2009 to be in the range of $125-150 million, subject to the continuation of the strong international coal price.
New Hope was slightly down this morning trading at $4.41 in mid-morning trade on the Australian Securities Exchange having closed yesterday at $4.46.