Whitehaven Coal FY profit down 95%

Whitehaven Coal has had a 95 per cent fall in full-year profit due to lower coal prices but management is adamant there is strong demand for its supplies in Asia.

Whitehaven’s net profit after tax dipped to $30.0 million after coal prices slipped due to ongoing US-China trade disputes and declined further as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer sales and higher costs exacerbated the results.

Coal production slipped by four per cent. This was due to worker shortages, and drought and bushfires disrupting efforts at Whitehaven’s biggest mine, Maules Creek, in NSW.

A scheduled longwall move of its mine at Narrabri, in the state’s north, reduced production there for eight weeks.

Shareholders will not receive a final dividend. The 2019 final dividend was 30 cents per share (including special dividend).

Despite the results, Whitehave chief executive Paul Flynn said he was confident of continuing demand for high quality coal in a carbon-conscious world.

The company exports alloys, cement and steel to customers across Asia.

The International Energy Agency last year forecast coal demand in southeast Asia to rise by more than five per cent per year to 2024.

Mr Flynn also said state government approval earlier this month to extend the open cut Vickery mine in NSW was a significant achievement.

The federal government must still approve the project.

Shares were lower by 16.06 per cent to $1.04 at 1448 AEST.

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