ASX-LISTED New Hope (NHC) today reported a 75 per cent drop in net profit after tax (NPAT).
The Brookwater thermal coal producer reported $101.1 million in NPAT during the first-half of FY12 compared to the previous corresponding period. It represents a significant decrease on the previous year’s $407.4 million result due to one-off proceeds from the $326.3 million sale of Arrow Energy to Shell Petro China.
However, revenue still increased 15.5 per cent to $388.5 million, production volumes rose 14.2 per cent to 3.2 million tonnes (mt) and export sales were up 7.4 per cent to 2.9 mt during the period.
“Interim earnings benefited from a strong operational performance across the portfolio, with an increase in production and exports coinciding with higher US dollar coal prices,” says managing director Robert Neale (pictured) in an ASX statement.
“With $1.4 billion of cash on the balance sheet, we remain well funded to deliver on the potential within our development pipeline that spans thermal and coking coal as well as alternative energies.”
NHC has acquired the remaining 19.2 per cent stake in Northern Energy for $50.2 million, with integration programs underway to improve the efficiency of project delivery.
The corporate strategic focus for the next five years includes developing a portfolio of coal projects and energy technologies while ensuring safety performance. However, second-half profitability is likely to be impacted by movements in the Australian and US dollar exchange rates as well as ongoing negotiations over benchmark thermal-coal contract prices in Japan.
NHC last year ended takeover talks with parties, describing the change-of-control offers as ‘preliminary’ and ‘incomplete’. The formal process to determine price and terms failed to demonstrate that pursuing such agreements would be in the best interest of shareholders.
The Board of directors has approved a fully franked dividend of 6 cents a share to be paid on May 2, 2012.
Read the full story on Wotif along with Brisbane’s Top 50 publicly listed companies in the annual Brisbane Business News top companies edition out now.
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