No Dividend As Coal Weakness Weighs On New Hope

No final dividend from thermal coal miner and exporter, New Hope after the company incurred second-half losses for 2010-20 from the slump in demand for power energy type coals due to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting economic activity across the globe, especially in Asia.

New Hope joins rival Whitehaven in reporting a sharp fall in earnings and dropping the final dividend.

New Hope had paid an interim earlier in the year of 6 cents a share (Whitehaven paid a much reduced 1.5 cents a share dividend).

New Hope’s weak result had been well expected but the shares still fell 2.8% to end at $1.21.

New Hope reported a 17% fall in revenue to $1.084 billion and a 69% decline in profit after tax to $119.5 million for the 12 months.

The company earned a profit before tax and one-off items of $123.5 million for the January 31 half year, meaning the company lost $4 million in the second half.

With impairments and other one-off items, the company reported a bottom-line loss of $225.6 compared with a profit of $308 million in 2018-19.

The impairments included the write-down of coal-producing and exploration assets, impairment of goodwill, impairment of oil-producing and exploration assets, New Acland ramp down costs, redundancies, and implementation costs.

This was driven by severe weakness in coal prices during the year which the company says will continue.

New Hope says it “remains well-positioned to emerge from the current economic downtown as a stronger, more efficient business.”

The company lifted production 4% to 11.3 million tonnes despite production at New Acland in Southeast Queensland, falling over the year.

The rise in production and sales were driven by the company’s full-year interest of 80% in Bengalla Joint Venture in the Hunter Valley in NSW.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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