New Hope Corporation has delivered a net profit before tax of $1.401 billion for the year ended July 31, following an exceptional financial and operational performance across the company.
Chief executive officer Rob Bishop said it was due to strong demand and global supply constraints which pushed thermal coal prices to record levels.
“Our underlying EBITDA result was $1.577 billion, a 330 per cent increase from January 31, 2022, while our NPAT was $983 million,” he said.
“This result saw the company finish the period with $ 715 million cash at bank and a net asset position of $2.316 billion.
“This exceptional cash result has enabled the group to reward its shareholders with a final fully franked dividend of 31 cents per ordinary share. I am also pleased to announce a special fully franked dividend of 25 cents per ordinary share.”
The company continued to focus on improving its safety performance, with the All-Injury Frequency Rate up by 12 per cent and Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate improved by 52 per cent over the past financial year.
New Hope’s flagship operation, Bengalla Mining, of which the company owns 80 per cent, delivered 9.3 million tonnes of saleable production for the financial year, a reduction of just four per cent compared to the previous financial year. This was despite losing more than 59,848 truck hours to unprecedented weather events, a tight labour market and COVID related disruptions to operations.
The expansion of New Acland Mine achieved a series of significant approvals during the past year, including from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science’s Environmental Authority, and via mining leases granted by Queensland Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart.
“The Company is confident the chief executive of the Department administered by Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, will grant New Acland Stage 3 the remaining primary approval, an Associated Water Licence as soon as possible, which will enable a restart of operations and employment opportunities for hundreds of local workers,” Bishop said.
The past year also saw the company, through a wholly owned subsidiary, acquire a 15 per cent interest in Malabar Resources Limited for a total investment of $94.4 million.
Malabar’s flagship asset is the Maxwell Mine, an underground metallurgical coal project located 10 kilometres south-west of Muswellbrook in New South Wales.
“The acquisition diversifies our portfolio by providing exposure to metallurgical coal, mined by low impact underground methods, and is expected to provide attractive investment returns over the life of the project,” Bishop said.
“The company believes the demand for high quality, low emission thermal coal, produced from our Australian operations is critical to supporting the transition to a decarbonised economy.”