High volumes, prices put shine on Alliance

REVENUES and profit spiked in the third quarter for Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource Partners on higher prices and volumes, and the producer is confident of achieving a record financial year.
High volumes, prices put shine on Alliance High volumes, prices put shine on Alliance High volumes, prices put shine on Alliance High volumes, prices put shine on Alliance High volumes, prices put shine on Alliance

The Dotiki mine in Kentucky. Courtesy of Alliance Resource Partners.

Staff Reporter

For the period ended September 30, revenues were a record $US410.4 million, a 37% jump over the previous corresponding quarter. Net income climbed 100.9% to $73.2 million.

The company said increased tonnage from its River View and Mettiki operations played a role in pushing sales volumes for the quarter to a record 7.7 million tons, 24% more than the 6.2Mt reported in the 2009 quarter.

Taking improved pricing on its contracts into consideration, average sales prices were also up 13.4% to a record $51.68 per sold ton.

Production was also up year on year by 13%, from 6.3Mt in the third quarter last year to 7.1Mt for the period just ended. Alliance again cited increased production at River View for the jump.

"Strong operating and financial performance through the first nine months has kept ARLP firmly on track to deliver our tenth consecutive year of record results in 2010," company president Joseph Craft III said.

"Looking ahead, we remain encouraged by opportunities for growth beyond 2010.”

Craft noted that the company is holding ongoing discussions with its customers seeking long-term commitments.

That confidence also extended to the company’s newest operation in West Virginia.

“ARLP … has clear visibility to future production growth as development of the new Tunnel Ridge mine remains on schedule to begin longwall production in late 2011,” Craft said.

Looking ahead, Craft said some customers were taking a cautious approach towards securing additional supply, but Alliance remained focused on providing operational flexibility, product diversity and financial stability for customers despite the cyclical market.

“This focus has allowed us to secure commitments for substantially all of our 2010 production and approximately 90 per cent of our anticipated 2011 production, providing Alliance with the foundation for continued growth during this period," he said.

Based on the results to date, ARLP said it now anticipated 2010 production of 29.0-29.6Mt while coal sales volumes will be 30-31Mt, essentially all of which is priced and committed. Anticipated revenues for the year should be near the upper end of its initial range expectation of $1.50-1.60 billion.