21 April 2023
March 2023 Quarter Production Report and Vickery Update
- Whitehaven achieved an average coal price of A$400/t for the quarter¹, compared with A$527/t in the December quarter (A$315/t in prior corresponding period).
- March quarter managed run-of-mine (ROM) production of 4.3Mt, down 12% on the December quarter.
- March quarter total equity sales of produced coal of 3.4Mt, down 2% on the December quarter (down 5% on pcp); managed sales of produced coal of 4.1Mt, down 4% on the December quarter.
- Cash generated from operations² of ~$1.2 billion in the March quarter.
- Whitehaven held a net cash position of $2.7 billion as at 31 March 2023 after a $552 million tax payment (in relation to FY22) and returning $373 million of capital to shareholders during the March quarter (through the interim dividend and buy-back combined).
- Since the share buy-back program³ commenced in March 2022, a total of 157.1 million shares have been bought back for $1.056 billion including 13.73 million shares bought back for $100.3 million in the March quarter. The buy-back is due to resume on Monday 24 April following the current required blackout period.
- The Board has approved commencement of early mining of Vickery coal deposit. A decision around further investment and commencement of full scale operations at Vickery will be considered by the Board later this calendar year.
Comments from Whitehaven Coal Managing Director and CEO Paul Flynn:
“During the March quarter, overall ROM production was below plan primarily due to operational constraints at Maules Creek, including ongoing labour shortages.
“A mild northern hemisphere winter meant that customers’ inventory levels remained high in the March quarter, demand was softer and thermal coal prices moderated.
“Despite this, underlying demand remains strong and we realised an average coal price of A$400/t during the quarter, including delivering a 13% premium to the gC NEWC price of US$248/t for our thermal coal.
“Whitehaven generated $1.2 billion of cash from operations in the quarter and at the end of March we held a net cash position of $2.7 billion.
“We are well placed to maintain a strong balance sheet through the cycle while continuing to return capital to shareholders through our share buy-back program. So far this financial year we have returned $1.3 billion of capital through dividends and buy-backs.
“We will continue to adopt a disciplined and balanced approach to capital allocation.”
Read the full March 2023 Quarter Production Report here.
¹Before applicable royalties
2Before interest and income tax
3Refer to page 6 for details.