In a presentation, Wesfarmers managing director Stewart Butel said despite its efforts revenues were still down by 24% to $826 million and earnings were down 62.8% to $93 million in the six months to December 2012.
“Operational changes at Curragh in response to market conditions include reduced contractor usage and partial mine shutdown in December and a significant reduction in mine cash costs,” Butel said.
Increased production volumes were driven by recent mine expansions, with Curragh production up 24.2% to 5.5 million tonnes and production from its Bengalla mine in New South Wales up 46.9% to 1.4Mt.
Butel said the company forecast Curragh metallurgical coal sales of 7.5-8 million tonnes per annum subject to no further wet weather and satisfactory performance of port and rail capacity post-cyclone Oswald.
The estimated full-year sales mix will be hard 43%, semi-hard 30% and pulverised coal injection 27%.
There would be a continuing strong mine cash cost focus, he said.
Butel predicted low export coal prices and high exchange rates would continue in the second half of the financial year.