Coal & Allied�s earnings plummet

ONGOING shipping queues at the Port of Newcastle have blown out Coal & Allied’s operating costs for the second half of 2006 – lowering its expected earnings for the period to $A60 million.

Staff Reporter

The result compares with 2006 first half earnings of $146.5m and 2005 second half earnings of $A163.7 million.

Managing director Douglas Ritchie said the second half 2006 revenues were substantially impacted by congestion at the Port of Newcastle due to a shortage of capacity in the Hunter Valley coal chain.

“The significant shipping queues, particularly in November and December, have not only impacted sales volumes and demurrage but they have had flow-on effects through the production chain, leading to lower volumes and production inefficiencies.

“As noted in our 2006 half year results, the rising cost of business inputs being experienced by the industry is imposing increased costs on Coal & Allied. This has further contributed to lower earnings in the second half of the year.”

Coal & Allied will release its full year 2006 results on 29 January, 2007.