Aussie thermal coal shines for Peabody

PEABODY Energy’s Australian thermal coal led the company's mining segments in the second quarter with record margins of 44% and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of US$105.9 ($A133) million, reflecting solid seaborne coal pricing and low costs.
Aussie thermal coal shines for Peabody Aussie thermal coal shines for Peabody Aussie thermal coal shines for Peabody Aussie thermal coal shines for Peabody Aussie thermal coal shines for Peabody

Peabody Energy's Wilpinjong coal mine in NSW.

Lou Caruana

Australian metallurgical and thermal revenues per short ton increased 114% and 41%, respectively, over the same period in 2016, despite lower volumes primarily related to the effects of Cyclone Debbie.

Australian adjusted EBITDA increased $181.6 million to $177.8 million on improved seaborne pricing driven by supply and demand dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Sales volumes totaled 6.6 million short tons, including 2Mt of metallurgical coal sold at an average price of $145.31 per ton and 2.8Mt of export thermal coal sold at an average price of $70.37/t, with the remainder delivered under domestic contracts. 

“As expected, Peabody worked through the effects of rail disruptions caused by Cyclone Debbie, which temporarily reduced sales volumes by approximately 1.2Mt and impacted adjusted EBITDA by $40 million to $50 million,” the company said. 

“Metallurgical coal sales volumes were back-end loaded in the second quarter with 1.3Mt shipped in June alone.  Metallurgical production volumes remained strong at 2.8Mt for the quarter, outpacing sales volumes and providing the opportunity for increased sales and lower costs per ton in the second half of the year.”  

The company will be ramping up metallurgical coal shipments on improved rail performance following Cyclone Debbie and the completion of the Metropolitan longwall move in the second quarter.

Peabody Energy CEO Glenn Kellow said: "We're off to a running start with the strength of the diversified Peabody portfolio demonstrated in the second quarter, as Australian and US platforms generated robust, balanced contributions even in the face of limited metallurgical coal sales due to Cyclone Debbie.

"We outlined an ambitious agenda and are pleased to have delivered on all fronts. Given that our cash position and outlook has further strengthened in the past quarter, we have taken tangible steps to accelerate our debt reduction while also authorising a $500 million share repurchase program."

The company reported total revenues for the second quarter of $1.26 billion, income from continuing operations net of income taxes of $101.4 million, and a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $20.2 million.