Half Year Results FY2016 – Return to Profit, Record Production

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Whitehaven has reported a net profit after tax of $7.8 million for the half year ended 31 December 2015.
The result was achieved in the face of difficult market conditions.
All key financial performance metrics improved on the previous corresponding period (pcp):

  • Sales revenue rose 54% to $574.3 million;
  • Operating EBITDA rose 104% to $106.4 million on the back of a 40% increase in operating margin;
  • Operating cash flow increased 421% to $118.3 million;
  • Net debt was lower at $924.9 million with gearing down slightly to 24%; and
  • Unit costs fell to $58/t down 8% on pcp.
  • There were no significant items in the result.

Commenting on the results, Whitehaven Coal Managing Director and CEO Mr Paul Flynn said:
“Whitehaven recorded a range of significant achievements in the first half with major improvements across all key financial performance indicators.
“The results are particularly pleasing because they have been achieved at a challenging time for the industry, meeting all our commitments we have made to the market.
“Whitehaven’s high quality coal – which produces more energy and fewer emissions per tonne than almost all competing coals – is being well received in our Asian markets where there is strong and growing demand for cleaner coal.
“Customer feedback on the coal we are producing at Maules Creek is exceptionally positive.
“Whitehaven remains positive about the medium and long term outlook for coal, particularly the outlook for the high quality coal we produce. Our coal is highly sought after by customers and countries that have an appreciation for the critical role high quality coal does play in creating an economically competitive, low emissions future.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION

During the first half of FY2016 Whitehaven and its Joint Venture partners have made significant contributions to the New South Wales and regional economies.

  • A total of $55.7 million paid to the NSW Government in royalties
  • Spent $64.1 million with local businesses in NW NSW
  • Provided grants to 50 local community groups
  • Increased the number of indigenous employees at Maules Creek, and
  • Signed a Native Title Agreement with the Gomeroi nation

OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

Record ROM and sales of coal of 7.1Mt and 7.3Mt, 59% and 55% higher respectively than the pcp reflected increased production and sales from Narrabri and first commercial production and sales from Maules Creek.

Narrabri established a new calendar year production record of 8.3Mt ROM coal for 2015, comfortably positioning the mine as one of the top three underground mines in Australia.

Maules Creek exceeded its ramp up schedule by producing 3.3Mt ROM coal in the first half and was operating at 8.5Mtpa ROM coal rate in December.

Capital expenditure for Maules Creek at the end of December 2015 was $701 million and largely complete, with a further $15 million to be spent over the next three years on permanent workshop and administration facilities.

Sustaining and growth capital expenditure costs continued to fall across the portfolio of mines as the focus turned to reducing net debt.

GUIDANCE

Whitehaven’s financial position is expected to continue to improve over the next three years, driven by further increases in production and improving margins. Further net debt reduction is expected in the second half.

The full Half Year Results Release can be found here: First Half FY16 Financial Results

The Half Year Results Presentation can be found here: Half Year Results FY16 Presentation

The Appendix 4D can be found App 4D and WCL 31 Dec 2015 accounts

The audio of the Investor Call is below: