* Q4 net loss 48.6 mln euros, against 8.8 mln profit in 2011
* Company says will not pay final dividend
* Sees coking coal price rise, thermal coal tougher
* Remains committed to Debiensko project
* Shares down 3.6 percent
(Adds shares, chairman comments, background)
By Jan Korselt and Jason Hovet
PRAGUE, Feb 21 Czech miner New World Resources
reported its biggest quarterly loss since its
2008 stock market debut on Thursday, as the weak global economy
reduced steelmakers' demand for its coal.
New World Resources (NWR), which supplies the central
European units of steelmakers ArcelorMittal and Evraz
, said on Thursday trading was likely to stay tough in
the first half of this year, but could improve thereafter.
"We are going to have a difficult first half, there is no
doubt about that," Executive Chairman Gareth Penny told Reuters.
"Have we reached the bottom and are we on the way up? I
believe so. It will take some time for that to feed through into
the financials," he added.
NWR shares dropped as much as 7.3 percent on the results.
The $500-billion-a-year steel industry, a gauge of the
global economy, slowed sharply last year as a moderation in
China's economic growth compounded weak demand from
Global crude steel production rose just 1.2 percent in 2012,
compared with 6.8 percent in 2011, although there are signs a
pick up in growth from Asia could help deliver a better 2013.
NWR swung to a fourth-quarter net loss of 48.6 million euros
($65 million), hit by falling coal prices and a one-off loss of
15 million euros from an inventory revaluation.
That was worse than analysts' average estimate of a 35.6-
million-euros loss in a Reuters poll, and compared with an
8.8-million-euro profit in the corresponding period in 2011.
NO DIVIDEND, BRIGHTER COKING COAL OUTLOOK
NWR, which owns hard coal mines in the north-east of the
Czech Republic, said it would not pay a dividend for the second
half of 2012.
Coal sales reached 9.7 million tonnes in 2012, down 9
percent on 2011, with an almost equal split between thermal coal
and higher-margin coking coal.
NWR expects coking coal prices to improve in 2013 after a
slight rise in the first quarter, but the thermal coal market
will remain difficult, resulting in only a gradual sale of
inventories during 2013, it said.
It ended 2012 with coal inventories of 1.3 million tonnes.
NWR reiterated guidance on coal production of 10 million to
11 million tonnes in 2013 after 11.2 million tonnes in 2012.
It said it was targeting sales of 9.5 million to 10.5
million tonnes, split equally between coking and thermal coal.
The company expects capital investments to range between 120
million and 130 million euros this year, including 10 million on
a project to open its Polish mine Debiensko, after a technical
revision of the site. However, the unfavourable market
conditions warrant a cautious approach to the project, NWR said.
"In light of the current market conditions, we will limit
our progress on site in 2013 to the purchase of surface
properties and project value engineering," NWR said.
At 1045 GMT, NWR shares were down 3.6 percent at 84 crowns,
compared with a 1.2 percent decline in Prague's PX index.
($1 = 0.7479 euros)
(Writing by Jana Mlcochova and Jason Hovet; Editing by David
Goodman and Mark Potter)