November 13, 2015 / 1:02 PM / 3 years ago

Poland's JSW optimistic on reaching debt restructuring deal

WARSAW, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Coking coal producer JSW expects to reach an agreement with bondholders on a debt restructuring, the company’s deputy head said on Friday, three days ahead of a deadline in the negotiations.

State-controlled JSW is struggling to cope with record low coal prices and high mining costs and has had to cut costs.

“Taking into account the talks up to now, both sides aim at an agreement and we assume that the agreement will be reached,” Tomasz Gawlik told reporters at a news conference on the company’s third-quarter results. He declined to give further details.

Last year, JSW issued bonds worth 700 million zlotys ($177.75 million) and $164 million, which it spent on the purchase of the Knurow-Szczyglowice coal mine from miner Kompania Weglowa.

Earlier this year, ING Bank Slaski, ING’s Polish business and JSW’s only private sector debt holder, demanded early redemption of its bonds worth 26.3 million zlotys and $13 million, adding to the loss-making miner’s troubles.

In October, JSW said it had extended a deadline for approving key conditions of its debt restructuring talks with bondholders to Nov. 16.

JSW has not had a chief executive since Edward Szlek resigned in September. Most of the board members, which represent the company in the bondholders talks, were appointed in the last few months

In its third-quarter results published on Thursday, the company booked a small net profit of 1 million zlotys but this was due to one-off gain. In the first three quarters of the year, the group reported a net loss of 623 million zlotys.

JSW also gave an outlook for coal production, which it expected to rise to 17.2 million tonnes next year from 16.5 million estimated for 2015. In the first three quarters of this year, JSW’s output stood at 11.9 million tonnes.

The company said it would lower its coal stockpiles to around 350,000 by the end of this year from 989,000 at the end of September.

The miner sees its 2016 investment spending above the 1.1 billion zlotys planned for this year. ($1 = 3.9405 zlotys) ($1 = 3.9382 zlotys) (Reporting by Anna Koper; Writing by Agnieszka Barteczko. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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