Macarthur records profit as sales increase

Macarthur Coal has recorded a significant increase in profit in 2009.

Macarthur Coal has attributed a huge profit increase to higher sale prices in the first half of 2009 and returning demand in the fourth quarter.

The company recorded a net profit after tax of $168.6 million, which represents a 132% increase over the corresponding period in 2008.

“For the first time in many months we are now seeing some positive signs return to the market across all regions,” Macarthur managing director and chief executive Nicole Hollows said.

Hollows said that Macarthur has significantly increased its spot sales of PCI coal, which had previously not been selling well.

“We were able to procure substantial spot market sales of both thermal and PCI coal to non-traditional customers during the second half of the year,” she said.

“This complements our existing long term customer base and providing an alternative market for Macarthur Coal’s sales in the future.”

Earlier this year Macarthur was able to raise $190 million through a discounted issue of new shares, leaving the company with about around $220 million in cash to develop future projects.

“Our successful capital raising in June and July this year has positioned us well to pursue our objective to double production in the next five years,” Hollows said.

“We are focused on developing the (Queensland) Middlemount Mine project and one other mine from our tenement portfolio.”

The positive results are a significant turnaround from Macarthur’s negative outlook in December last year, when it slashed almost 200 jobs and amended its dividend target as commodities sales plummeted.

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