To purchase this space contact Gordon

The falling coal prices in the first half of the 2021 financial year have seen ASX-listed Whitehaven Coal swing to a loss in the six months under review.

Whitehaven on Wednesday reported a net loss after tax of A$94.5-million for the six months to December, compared with a net profit after tax of A$27.4-million for the previous corresponding period.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization declined by 79% over the same period, to A$37.2-million, reflecting the lower average achieved coal price of A$80/t, compared with the A$108/t achieved in the previous corresponding period.

“The impacts of subdued pricing on seaborne coal markets were a key feature of the first-half results as Covid-19 impacts on economic and industrial activity continued to be felt,” said Whitehaven MD and CEO Paul Flynn.

“The business responded strongly to these challenging market conditions, including through improvement measures that delivered meaningful cost reductions and greater operational efficiency, offsetting price headwinds to some extent.”

Run-of-mine (RoM) production during the six months under review increased by 28%, to 7.7-million tonnes, while saleable coal production was up 10% on the previous corresponding period, to 7.1-million tonnes.

Total coal sales for the period under review increased by 3%, to 8.7-million tonnes, while revenues declined by 21%, to A$699.3-million. Unit costs per tonne for the period were also down by 8%, to A$70/t.

“We have closed out the first half of 2021 with strong levels of liquidity, strong banking support and we are focused on retaining debt against the backdrop of the improving price environment,” said Flynn.

“With future savings targets identified and coal markets rebalancing in response to demand signals, we are optimistic about achieving stronger outcomes through the second half.”

Whitehaven’s RoM production targets have remained unchanged at between 21-million and 22.5-million tonnes for the full 2021 financial year, while its managed coal sales targets have also remained unchanged at between 19-million and 20-million tonnes.