New Hope sets records, earns less

QUEENSLAND-focused coal miner New Hope experienced a 67% drop in profit compared to last year despite mining record coal tonnage over the fiscal year.
New Hope sets records, earns less New Hope sets records, earns less New Hope sets records, earns less New Hope sets records, earns less New Hope sets records, earns less

The north pit at New Hope's Acland mine.

Justin Niessner

The company recorded a net profit of only $A167 million for the year compared to $503 million in 2011 but counted 6.3 million tonnes of coal production versus 5.7Mt last fiscal year.

New Hope attributed sales and production progress to successful focus on cost management at its Queensland bulk handling facility which exported 8.7Mt of coal on 120 vessels during FY2012, a 33% increase on the 6.5Mt shipped in FY2011.

“New Hope’s solid full-year result was driven by a record operational performance which saw both production and sales figures at all-time highs,” New Hope managing director Robert Neale said.

“Despite the near-term unfavourable outlook, New Hope remains in an enviable position to take advantage of future opportunities and to manage through this phase of the cycle.

“We continue to maintain our unswerving focus on cost management and remain low on the cost curve relative to our peers, with a further wave of efficiency improvements due to be implemented in November.

“In addition, our balance sheet means that New Hope is well positioned to move on acquisition opportunities that would be immediately accretive to earnings, either within our coal business or within our expanding energy portfolio.”

New Hope posted a balance of $1.5 billion in cash at the end of the fiscal year noting that it had a stable platform to pursue acquisitions.

The company’s development portfolio includes the Acland coal project in Queensland and projects acquired as part of its takeover of Northern Energy Corp.

New Hope’s exploration program in FY2012 has focused on resource definition in the Bowen and Surat basins.

The miner said it was poised to deliver another year of solid operational performance in FY2013 and that its New Acland mine was well-placed to achieve similar levels of production in the current year.

Production from West Moreton is expected to be similar in 2013 to levels achieved in 2012, with the closure of New Oakleigh in January 2013 offset by increased production from Jeebropilly.