KING COAL

KING COAL

MACARTHUR Coal Limited (MCC) has increased its profit guidance by $7 million for the December half, following stellar sales – the second highest on record.

The sales volumes of 2.8Mt overshot previous estimates between 2.4Mt and 2.7Mt, on the back of a reduction in the vessel queue at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) and more favourable weather conditions.

The increased sales take the profit guidance to between $37 million and $42 million, compared to a band of $30 million to $38 million indicated at the company’s AGM in November.

But the Brisbane-based miner expects June half sales to be lower, due to minimal coal stocks, seasonal weather effects and restrictions in the Goonyella coal chin.

CEO Nicole Hollows (pictured), does not expect any shipments from the Middlemount project in fiscal year 2011, with a lack of progress in obtaining key toll arrangements for temporary water and rail infrastructure.

“Middlemount Coal is progressing development of its own rail loop and water supply pipeline which are expected to be completed in the December half 2011,” says Hollows.

“It is pleasing to see the strong recovery in sales and that we are now back to full production.”

MCC expects a full year sales forecast of between 4.8Mt and 5Mt. Shares closed down 1.4 per cent today at $11.38.

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