Fast cash for Macarthur

MACARTHUR Coal has completed a $A190 million raising from institutional investors and resumed trading, after forecasting its net profit will double.

Blair Price

A total of 31.82 million shares were issued at $6 per share.

Macarthur will offer the same price to its existing Australian and New Zealand-based retail shareholders under a share purchase plan.

The shareholders can subscribe for up to $15,000 of new Macarthur shares, but they must be on the register as of June 24. More details are yet to be announced.

Macarthur CEO and managing director Nicole Hollows said the company was extremely pleased with the success of the institutional placement.

“The fact that it was significantly over-subscribed indicates strong support for Macarthur Coal and its growth strategy,” she said.

Funds will go to developing its 70%-owned Middlemount open cut mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, which has coal reserves totalling 56.9 million tonnes, comprising 28.5Mt of proved and 28.4Mt of probable reserves.

Macarthur will also use the proceeds to continue the pre-development and evaluation of its 85%-owned Codrilla and Wilunga projects to the north and other ongoing exploration.

Yesterday Macarthur forecast net profit after tax to be in the range of $155-170 million for the current financial year, well above the $72.7 million realised in the previous 12 months.

Earlier this week the leading pulverised coal injection coal producer revealed it had shipped a number of cargoes of PCI and thermal coal to China for the first time in the company’s history.

In an important notice to shareholders yesterday, Macarthur flagged a potential change to its dividend policy.

“The board advises shareholders that it has made no decision with respect to a full-year dividend and it may not follow its historical practice of paying 50 per cent of full-year NPAT as a dividend.

“This is due to a number of factors, including current uncertainties about the timing of recovery in global steel markets and therefore metallurgical coal demand, as well as the company’s implementation timeframe for its new growth projects.”

Macarthur shares are out of a trading halt and are down 16c this morning to $6.46.

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