Sales revenue for the year of $1.7 billion was up 52% on the previous corresponding period while operating earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation before significant items came in at $714.2 million – up a staggering 219%.
Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn said the company’s investment in the development of Maules Creek at the bottom of the coal price cycle, the ramp up of Narrabri underground and the productivity improvements exhibited at the Gunnedah open cuts provided a solid platform for the business.
“[This] ensured that the group has been and continues to be well positioned to capitalise on an improved environment for thermal and metallurgical coal,” he said.
“Maules Creek delivered production in the second half FY2017 at an annualised run rate of 10.5 million tonnes with best quartile costs and a premium product delivering significant premiums to the prevailing thermal prices.
“This is reflected in the significant contribution that Maules Creek has made to Whitehaven’s FY2017 EBITDA.”
Flynn said Whitehaven’s high quality coal – which produces more energy and fewer emissions per tonne than almost all competing coals – is being widely and rapidly accepted in the growing Asian market.
“The outlook for the high quality coal we produce is positive, as more HELE [high efficiency, low-emission] technology coal-fired power plants are being deployed into the Asian region,” he said.
“The release of the Finkel report and increased debate about energy security and affordability in Australia should lead to Australia following the lead of Germany, Japan and of our customer countries – by installing HELE technology to lower both emissions and the cost of electricity for all Australians.”