Universal Coal has completed the first quarter with three operating collieries delivering EBITDA of AUD$22.5million and a 4 per cent increase in sales volumes to record volumes of 1.85million tonnes of product sold to market.

According to a company report, current quarter EBITDA decreased by 32 per cent from the December 2018 quarter, negatively affected by the downturn in the coal price during the last quarter.

“YTD EBITDA totals AUD$76 million and is well on target to reach the FY2019 forecast results of AUD$93 million, in spite of the current negative coal pricing achieved,” said Universal.

“This is, however, offset with the expected total sales volume increase from the original 6Mtpa to 6.8Mtpa. The increase in sales volumes is contributed by increased efficiency at the NBC, and the consistent increase in demand to Eskom from NCC.”

Group cash balance increased by AUD$11.5 million to a balance of AUD$58.3 million, bearing in mind the delayed dividend distribution of AUD$10.5million payable to shareholders in May 2019. The Company cash balance was affected by debt repayments of AUD$4 million and the settlement of dividends of AUD$1.4 million in the quarter.

Universal’s CEO, Tony Weber has confirmed that the company has finalised all the current acquisitions in its pipeline and have effectively settled the Eloff Project acquisition costs, with UNV now only required to settle the NBC deferred acquisition price of AUD$7.6 million once the S11 transfer of ownership has been granted by the DMR.

“Universal delivered its second quarter of record sales tonnage in traditionally the latter of the two weaker quarters due to the occurrence of the rainy season. This solid trading result is underpinned by having three collieries fully operational,” said Mr Weber.

“Unfortunately, the start of the Ubuntu colliery, which is still scheduled for commencement in the second half of the current financial year, was delayed by a quarter. However, it will bring UNV’s production rate to 8.8mtpa for the next financial year.

“Although production has continued to outpace guidance, with the strong local demand for domestic power station coal continuing, the current increasing pressures on the international coal prices and demand are having the effect of offsetting the historical high margins achieved on the export tonnes previously received.”

Source:  www.universalcoal.com  

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