Australia's New Hope posts record first-half profit as coal prices jump


March 20 (Reuters) - Australian coal miner New Hope Corporation (NHC.AX) said on Tuesday its reported first-half earnings more than doubled, helped by a surge in prices of the commodity.

The firm posted net profit attributable of A$668.6 million ($448.63 million) for the six months ended Jan. 31, its highest first-half profit ever, compared with A$330.4 million a year ago.

Coal prices have been supported over recent months by a sudden drop in supply since Russia invaded Ukraine and pared down exports of gas and coal, leading countries to scramble for other sources of energy.

New Hope sold each tonne of coal for an average of A$467.4 over the half year, up from A$192.4 a year ago.

The sharp rise in realised prices helped the company offset lower production.

The record profit also helped it declare an interim dividend of 30 Australian cents a share along with a special dividend of 10 cents per share. Last year, it had an interim dividend of 17 cents and special dividend of 13 cents.

($1 = 1.4903 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Navya Mittal and Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Related Regular News: