18/09/2012 - 09:14

New Hope says coal sector challenging

18/09/2012 - 09:14

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New Hope says coal sector challenging

Thermal coal miner New Hope says it is reviewing the pace at which it is developing new projects because of falling coal prices and the strong Australian dollar.

But New Hope says it is funded well enough to complete its developments, and pursue possible acquisitions.

The company on Tuesday posted a net profit of $167 million for the year to July 31.

That was down 67 per cent from $503 million in the previous year.

The previous year's result was boosted by the sale of stakes in Arrow Energy and the Lenton coal project in Queensland.

New Hope's coal production and sales in the year to July were both up 11 per cent on the previous year.

The company owns an open cut mine at Acland on the Darling Downs in Queensland and the Queensland Bulk Handling coal export terminal in Brisbane.

It also has several development projects, including expansion of its Acland mine.

But, it says, it is reviewing the pace at which it progresses those projects after recent falls in coal prices and the Australian dollar's ongoing strength.

"Despite the near-term unfavourable outlook, New Hope remains in an enviable position to take advantage of future opportunities and to manage through this phase of the cycle," managing director Robert Neale said in a statement.

He said New Hope was poised to deliver a solid operational performance in fiscal 2013, with production levels expected to be similar fiscal 2012.

New Hope shares were up 36 cents, or 8.61 per cent, at $4.54 at 1104 AEST.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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