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Anglo announces coal EBITDA of US$589 million

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World Coal,

Anglo American’s coal segment recorded underlying or EBITDA of US$589 million in 1H15 – down from US$638 million on the same period last year – on production of 47.9 million t and revenue of US$2.6 billion.

Australia and Canada coal output up

EBITDA at the company’s Australian and Canadian operations was up to US$324 million from US$307 million in 2014, reflecting cost reductions of US$141 million and the impact of a weaker Australian dollar. This was offset by a 14% drop in average quarterly hard coking coal prices, which cut earnings by US$236 million.

Total coal production increased by 4% despite the closure of its Peace River Coal operations in Canada. Total Australian production jumped by 10% on strong performance at underground longwall operations, where production increased by 29%.

South Africa and Colombia

In South Africa, underlying EBITDA dropped substantially from US$227 million in 2014 to US$182 million in the first six months of this year on weaker export thermal coal prices. Weaker prices also hit Colombian earnings, which saw a drop of 36% to US$61 million.

Production for coal for trade from South Africa increased by 4% and for export, also by 4%, on an 11% jump in production at underground output following the implementation of the Management Operation System at Geodehoop and Zibulo. But Eskom production was down 10% as the utility reduced offtake from New Vaal and New Denmark, while there was also unplanned maintenance on the dragline at Isibonelo.

Colombian production increased slightly to 5.9 million t as the operation benefited from productivity improvements to its waste-hauling trucks and favourable weather.

Coal cutting remains the focus

Costs were cut across operations with Australian underground operations costs dropping by 22%, Australian opencast costs down 5% and South African cash costs down 3%.

“The transformation of Anglo American that I set out 18 months ago is progressing, despite considerable external challenges,” said Anglo’s CEO, Mark Cutifani. “We are making fundamental changes to transform Anglo American – operationally, structurally and culturally – into a fit for purpose organisation with an enhanced resource endowment.”

Overall, Anglo American announced a US$3 billion loss for 1H15 on the back of commodity price-driven writedowns of US$3.5 billion.

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