Top public companies 2010: Macarthur Coal

MAR 2010

MACARTHUR Coal Limited (MCC) has an acquisition in the pipeline and forecasts more than 4 per cent production growth, but managing director Nicole Hollows will be focusing on ‘people and safety’ this year.

Hollows says the proposed acquisition of Gloucester Coal Limited (GCL) could bring new benefits, with an optimistic outlook for coal price negotiations this year as well.

“Synergies that are expected to be extracted from the combined group include the sharing of complementary skills across sites and management, combined marketing of products, building on mutual relationships with common customers and sharing approaches to markets,” she says.

“2010 is going to be an interesting year for Macarthur Coal — our traditional customers have returned and we are experiencing an increase in demand for coal from China.

“The effects of the GFC are still being felt around the world, however, within our export markets we are seeing growth in steel production and demand for metallurgical coal.”

MCC also hopes for increased interest in the Middlemount Coal Project, but Hollows does not expect shipments from there until FY11.

“It is unfortunate that Middlemount has not been able to reach an agreement for the third party tolling of water and rail load-out, notwithstanding the time and effort spent in trying to obtain rail load-out capacity,” she says.

The key areas Hollows plans to focus on this year include maintaining high safety standards, finding cost reductions, developing growth opportunities and improving the sustainability of operations.

“In addition to this, the proposed takeover or Gloucester and the Middlemount transactions will also pose a number of challenges and opportunities for the company. To this end, we plan to create an integration management team to ensure we maximise value and operate as a fully integrated company,” she says.

Hollows says the transaction would increase the scale and diversity of MCC, with operations in two states and infrastructure allocation at three ports.

The company recently signed a long term rail contract deal with Asciano Group (AIO) subsidiary Pacific National, for the haulage of 70Mtpa of coal from the Coppabella and Moorvale mines to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

The contract starts on November 1.

“Macarthur Coal has used Pacific National for supplementary capacity over the last six months and has been pleased with their commitment to delivery and flexibility,” says Hollows.

Managing director: Nicole Hollows
Market capitalisation: $2.6 billion
Revenue ’09: $695.4 million
Profit ’09: $168.6 million
Staff: 600
Established: 1995

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