(Refiles to remove extraneous “FY” from headline)
July 16 (Reuters) - Australia’s Whitehaven Coal Ltd said on Monday it was on track for a record financial result in the year just ended on the back of strong coal prices, even as output dipped in the final quarter.
Australia’s biggest independent coal miner said it produced 20.9 million tonnes of saleable coal in the 12 months to June 30, in line with forecasts and flat on the previous year.
The firm, which produces both thermal and metallurgical coal, sold 4.7 million tonnes of coal in the June quarter, down from 5.5 million tonnes in the same quarter last year, it said in its quarterly report.
“With thermal coal pricing at seven year highs, and against the backdrop of continuing strong demand, Whitehaven remains on track for a record set of financials in FY18,” Whitehaven Coal Managing Director and Chief Executive Paul Flynn said in the quarterly production report.
Whitehaven will report its annual result on Aug. 14.
Prices for Whitehaven’s thermal coal, used in power generation, jumped 18.1 percent in the June quarter to $98 a tonne from an average of $83 in the same quarter last year, thanks to strong demand in Asia, it said.
Prices for thermal coal were likely to remain well supported in the short to medium-term, it added.
Shares of Whitehaven, whose top shareholder is activist fund Farallon Capital Management, have climbed about 25 percent so far this year, outperforming the Australian energy index’s 9.5 percent gain. (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)