'Drive for fatality-free operations continues' at New World Resources

Central European hard coal and coke producer New World Resources has reported that five miners lost their lives during the company's last fiscal year, while financial results showed contractions in revenue and operating profit.

Central European hard coal and coke producer New World Resources has reported that five miners lost their lives during the company's last fiscal year, while financial results showed contractions in revenue and operating profit.

Gareth Penny, Executive Chairman of New World Resources, described 2012 as a "tough year", saying that ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties in Europe, as well as a slowdown in Asia, had affected business sentiment. He said that this had a knock-on impact on steel markets and associated raw materials, including coking coal.

However, the results were overshadowed by the deaths of five miners during the financial year.

Penny said: "Despite the on-going positive safety trend, it is with deepest regret that we report a loss of five of our miners at work during the year - an unacceptable result and we remain committed to achieving our ultimate target of fatality-free operations."

Revenue contracted 20% year-on-year to €1.3bn while operating profit plunged 80% to €56m.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) - a frequently used measure of company operating profits - tumbled 51% to €223m.

Total assets declined 7.0% to €2.2bn and cash and equivalents were down 50% to €267m.

Chairman Penny said that the continued pricing pressures during the year led to the 30% decline in the price of coking coal year-on-year in the group's coking coal business.

He said: "We expect coking coal prices to continue to improve during 2013 after a slight uptick in the first quarter 2013, as significant volumes of less competitive global coking coal supply went offline in 2012, and projects that would have brought new supply on stream in the long-term are either delayed or abandoned."

He explained that the thermal coal business had suffered from what the group understood was a "temporary regional oversupply", given relatively mild winter weather conditions as well as the wider economic slowdown in the company's local thermal coal markets.

Strategic outlook: Safety and increasing salesThe group reported that it had undertaken a strategic review of the business and decided on a number of objectives for the years through to 2017.

By 2017, the group said it wants to rank as one of the top five global leaders in safety in deep underground coal mining.

It intends to double European coking sales to 10m tonnes per annum through a mixture of mining projects and marketing initiatives and market its coking coal qualities to become a one-stop shop' for European steel customers and it wants to rank as one of the top five global leaders in safety in deep underground coal mining.

MF

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