Royalties bring in solid result for NRP

INCREASES in coal royalty revenue helped master limited partnership Natural Resource Partners mark a positive quarter and stand by its production guidance for the remainder of the year.
Royalties bring in solid result for NRP Royalties bring in solid result for NRP Royalties bring in solid result for NRP Royalties bring in solid result for NRP Royalties bring in solid result for NRP

Courtesy Natural Resource Partners.

Donna Schmidt

For the period ended September 30, the company’s revenues jumped 35% period-over-period to $US76.2 million, while net income attributable to its limited partners went up 55% to $35.5 million from $22.9 million in 2007’s third quarter.

The revenue spike was due in large part to coal royalty revenue jumps, officials for NRP said, with average revenue per ton rising 89c to $3.91. Royalty revenues increased 31% in the third quarter of 2007 to $58.3 million due to a 29% rise in the average royalty revenue/t and a coal royalty production rise of 2%.

“The most dramatic increase again occurred in Appalachia, where NRP experienced a 37 per cent increase to $4.45 per ton due to improvements in realisations for steam coal and met coal,” the company noted, adding that the Illinois Basin was also on the rise 23% over last year’s third quarter to $2.64.

Company president Nick Carter said NRP had enjoyed another solid quarter, setting records in both total revenues and net income per unit.

“We experienced an approximate 5 per cent increase in our average coal royalty revenue per ton as our lessees continue to roll over their contracts at higher prices and export more coal," Carter said.

He noted that the industry was continuing to battle with several production-related issues, including labour shortages, lower productivity, a more difficult regulatory environment and geologic obstacles in certain regions.

“These production issues will cause coal supply to remain tight for both steam and metallurgical coal,” Carter said.

However, despite uncertainty, NRP officials said they continued to see strong pricing by its lessee companies.

NRP confirmed its initial 2008 guidance issued earlier this year and said it was working with its companies to gather information to compile 2009’s guidance figures.

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