Robust FY 18 Financial Performance: Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC), Australia’s biggest independent coal miner, saw its stock price rising 2.66% on August 14, 2018, before market close. The company reported record performance for FY 18 with approximately 30% growth in net profit after tax (NPAT) of $525.6 million. The company’s NPAT growth in FY 18 is driven by 32% growth in the Operating EBITDA before significant items to $940.0m. The growth in the underlying EBITDA result was driven on back of a significant increase in the EBITDA margin to $59/t in FY2018, which is up on the $46/t margin achieved in FY2017. This increase was driven by a strong operating performance along with the strong coal price environment, particularly in respect of high quality thermal coal.\
The company’s revenue increased to $2,257.4m in FY18 from $1,773.2m in FY17, driven by the A$18/t rise in A$ realised prices to an average A$130/t in FY18 from A$112/t in FY17 and by a rise in sales of produced coal to 16.1Mt in FY18 from 15.5Mt in FY17. Moreover, during FY 17, cash generated from operations increased by 30% to $854.0m, while net debt was reported of $270.4m at 30 June 2018 and the gearing got reduced to 7%.
About 20.9 million tonnes of saleable coal has been produced in the year, and this is as per forecasts while being flat on previous year. Additionally, for FY 19, WHC expects saleable coal production to be in the range of 22.0Mt to 23.0Mt. Costs for the year 2018 are expected to increase modestly to $64/t excluding royalties due to higher fuel costs and longer hauls at Maules Creek.
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