Sydney, 18 September (Argus) — Australian thermal coal producer New Hope is reviewing its growth plans in light of weak coal prices and the continued strength of the Australian dollar. The company announced the review as it reported a 16pc increase in profit to A$171.1mn ($178.8mn) for the year to 30 June.
New Hope follows fellow Australian miners BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Peabody and Yancoal in reassessing its growth plans in the wake of a slump in coal prices over the past three months, soaring costs and a strong Australian dollar.
"The coal sector is under margin pressure from high A$/US$ exchange rates and offsite cost increases including government taxes and charges," managing director Robert Neale said.
But New Hope will continue to pursue acquisition opportunities and has announced a special dividend. Its output for the 12 months to 31 July increased by 11pc to 6.29mn t as it benefitted from better weather conditions in the latest year.
New Hope has three producing mines in Queensland, the New Acland mine in the Darling Downs region of the state and the Jeebropilly and New Oakleigh mines, which are collectively known as West Moreton, located about 90km west of Brisbane.
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