Boyce steps down as chief of Peabody Energy

Gregory Boyce is set to step down as the CEO of Peabody Energy in May, with company COO Glenn Kellow to take his place.

Boyce will remain at the company as the executive chairman of the board.

"We are very pleased to name Glenn as CEO-Elect and have him join Peabody's Board of Directors," Boyce said.

"Since joining Peabody in 2013, Glenn has led an operational team that has significantly improved safety, productivity and costs, while also overseeing corporate strategy, marketing and business development."

Peabody said the announcement concludes a succession planning process that has been under way for several years.

Prior to joining Peabody, Kellow held multiple leadership roles during his 28-year career at BHP Billiton ,including as the president of the multinational aluminium and nickel businesses.

He also held a number of executive, operating and financial positions in the coal, copper, base metals, steel and petroleum sectors.

Peabody, the biggest coal producer in the U.S, has 10 coal mines in Australia across New South Wales and Queensland.

In its December quarterly results released yesterday, the company said its total revenue in 2014 totalled $6.79 billion compared with $7.01 billion in the prior year primarily due to sharply lower realised pricing in Australia.

Australian revenues of $2.67 billion reflected a 16 per cent decline in revenues per tonne, partly offset by a 9 per cent rise in shipments.

Australian volumes increased to a record 38.2 million tonnes, including 17.6 million tonnes of metallurgical coal at $93.61 per tonne and 13.0 million tonnes of export thermal coal at $68.02 per tonne, with the remainder delivered under domestic thermal contracts.

Peabody projects 2015 metallurgical coal import demand increases will outpace supply growth for the first time since 2011 led by ongoing urbanisation and industrialisation in Asia.

Based on current global economic growth forecasts, the company expects annual global coal demand to rise 500 million tonnes by 2017.

Kellow said Peabody’s Australian operations would play a key role in meeting this increased demand.

In 2015, Kellow said Peabody would build upon cost reductions and Australia’s competitive advantage with additional cost improvements at the operational and corporate levels.

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