New Hope cuts profit forecasts

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Coal miner New Hope Corporation has cut its profit forecasts on the back of delays due to the Queensland floods.

The company said it had been unable to ship coal from its New Acland mine in southeast Queensland since floods had closed the Western Rail Line more than two months ago.

But it said its recent selloff of a 16.7 per cent holding in Arrow Energy, and the continuing resources boom had left it in good condition.

New Hope’s profit for the six months to the end of January 2011 was up 265 per cent to $407.39 million.

However the bulk of this figure was provided by the Arrow Energy sell, which added a one time profit of $326 million.

Excluding the Arrow deal, after profit tax for New Hope was down 27.4 per cent to $81.06 million.

New Hope said in a statement yesterday the losses were directly due to the rain and flood impacts earlier in the year but the company had “recovered well” and the rail line was due to open next week.

It said the strong Australian dollar had also hurt profits but high spot coal prices had partly mitigated the impact.

Earlier in the week New Hope announced an offer to acquire minority interests in Northern Energy with a cash offer of $2.00 per share.

New Hope said the deal was not subject to any conditions but it would not consider raising the offer price.

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