Surging coal prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war has supercharged New Hope Corporation (ASX: NHC) earnings for the first-half of FY22.
Revenue of $1.03bn, up 153%
Net profit of $330.4m compared to -$55.4m loss a year ago
Debt free after fully repaying balance of debt on 31 July 2021
Interim dividend of 17 cents per share, up 325%
Special dividend of 13 cents per share
“Cost control disciplines that were introduced during the 2021 financial year in response to a period of depressed prices have been embedded across the Group and will ensure that New Hope remains in the lowest cost quartile compared to other producers of seaborne thermal coal,” CEO Rob Bishop said in a statement.
New Hope owns two coal projects in Australia, the Bengalla Project NSW is responsible for most of the company’s coal production.
“Bengalla dealt very well with the challenges from COVID-19 related labour shortages and wet weather to minimise the impact on coal production, which was down only 1 per cent compared to the first half of last financial year,” said Bishop.
New Hope is rewarding shareholders with a larger dividend thanks to the “remarkable recovery” in coal prices and buoyant near-term outlook.
The interim plus special dividend of 30 cents per share represents a dividend yield of 9.5% based on Tuesday’s open price of $3.15.
New Hope shares will go ex-dividend on Thursday, 14 April.
“Strong demand and lower than normal stock levels held by customers have pushed thermal coal prices well above the long-term average. Newcastle Index pricing is currently above US$300/t, and our forward sales book will support robust returns,” said Bishop.
The strong financial period has propped up New Hope's capital position, with $513m cash.
The company's market cap sits at around $2.5bn.
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