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New Hope’s interim profit has plunged to a loss of $55 million for the six months to January 31 as the cost of delays on its Acland expansion added to almost $90 million.

The Brisbane coal producer said it was looking at a much-improved second half as the benchmark thermal coal prices rose above $US90 a tonne, but its first half was littered with costs and writedowns.

And it warned that the delays at Acland could mean the mine would be mothballed.

It said losses on take-or-pay contracts were $37 million, group redundancies were $10 million and asset writedowns on mining assets were $40 million.

Revenue for the company was $405 million, a fall of 34 per cent on the same period in 2020. Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down 62 per cent to $81 million and its bottom line sank 179 per cent to a loss of $55 million.It declared a 4 cents a share dividend.

Adding to the delays at Acland were a fall in coal prices and a drop in production because of maintenance at its Bengalla mine.

Chief executive Reinhold Schmidt said it was a tough period for the company but there were signs of a recovery with prices jumping from a low of $US50 a tonne in 2020 to $US90.

“Bengalla continues to perform strongly for the business and , although production was down slightly in the first half due to the dragline shutdown, it was above expectations,” Schmidt said.

He said the continued uncertainty around approvals for the New Acland expansion was impacting on the broader business.

“Redundancies continue as a result of nearing final stage two coal at New Acland,” he said.

“With the High Court of Australia ordering New Acland back to the Land Court of Queensland in the first quarter of 2022 and the prospect of the project being placed in care and maintenance, a further impairment of the asset has been accounted for in the half year results.”

The State Government has refused to grant approvals for the mine expansion while court action remains.

The company has fought a decade-long fight for the approvals and spent $658,000 on the last election campaign to push their case.