24 August 2023
Full Year Results FY23
Strong demand and high prices for high-CV thermal coal drive record earnings and capital returns for shareholders
Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) reports a record net profit after tax (NPAT) of $2.7 billion for the year ended 30 June 2023 up 37% on the prior year, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $4.0 billion, which is a 30% increase on FY22.
Whitehaven’s FY23 results also include:
- A 13% improvement in safety performance as measured by a total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) for employees and contractors of 4.7.
- Zero environmental enforceable actions for FY23, a strong turnaround from an average of 6 p.a. over the previous four years.
- Run-of-mine (ROM) managed production volumes of 18.2M tonnes, down from 20.0M in FY22.
- Record revenue of $6.1 billion underpinned by an achieved average coal price of A$445/t (compared with $4.9 billion revenue and an average price of A$325/t in the prior year).
- Cash generated from operations of $4.2 billion compared with $2.6 billion in the prior year.
$2.65 billion of net cash was held on the balance sheet at 30 June 2023.
A fully franked final dividend of 42 cents per share will be paid on 15 September 2023, taking the full year dividend to 74 cents per share, fully franked.
During FY23 a total of 119.67 million shares were bought back for an average price of $7.93 and a total investment of $948.9 million. The full year dividend combined with the proportion of the share buy-back attributed to FY231, represents a total payout ratio of 50% of FY23 NPAT, which is aligned with the Company’s capital allocation framework.
Commenting on Whitehaven’s FY23 results, Paul Flynn, CEO & Managing Director said:
“Once again we saw a solid improvement in our safety results for the year and our focus on environmental management delivered a very good outcome with zero environmental enforceable actions. This is a reflection of the commitment and focus of our people to prioritise safety and environmental management at all times.
“Record coal prices and our portfolio of high quality thermal and metallurgical products allowed Whitehaven to optimise the sales mix for FY23 and maximise our exposure to the strong gC NEWC thermal index. With 94% of our sales going into the higher priced thermal market, we delivered an average realised price of A$445 per tonne.
“Production was impacted in the first half of the year as a result of localised flooding cutting off access to a number of our operations for several weeks. Labour shortages also contributed to the 9% year on year reduction in ROM production of 18.2M tonnes.
“With strong underlying market demand for high-CV, high quality thermal coal and metallurgical coal, coupled with forecast supply tightness, we recognise the opportunity and importance to improve operational performance. Targeted recruitment and retention initiatives are starting to deliver better outcomes; we have a number of business improvement initiatives underway to strengthen operational reliability and efficiencies; and at Narrabri we have moved to the shallower longwall panels, which are expected to bring improved operating conditions.”
1. Includes $272.3 million in relation to the FY23 interim dividend and $337.1 million for the final dividend together with $723.6 million in relation to the share buy-back (92.8 million shares). The initial 10% buy-back was attributed to the FY22 NPAT payout ratio.
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