Alpha Natural Resources, a leading coal supplier in Central Appalachia, reported first-half 2018 net income of $64.6 million, compared with $23.7 million in the first half of 2017. It also updated its sales guidance to 13.8 million tons to 14.5 million tons.

“Although the first quarter proved to be challenging from a logistics and weather perspective, we are pleased with the first six months of 2018,” said David Stetson, chairman and CEO. “We had a strong first half with an average price of $111.01 for metallurgical coal, $52.84 for steam coal, and Alpha is seeing a strong, stable market in the second half of 2018 and into 2019.”

Total revenues in the first half of 2018 were $606.7 million compared with $639 million in the first half of 2017. The decrease in total revenue was attributable to lower average per ton realizations and fewer brokered tons sold, along with impacts to shipments caused by persistent logistical disruptions in the period, the company said.

During the first half of 2018, metallurgical coal shipments were 3.7 million tons, compared with 3.5 million tons in the first half of 2017. Steam coal shipments were 3.1 million tons, compared with 3.1 million tons in the year-ago period. Brokered coal shipments were 100,000 tons during the first half of 2018, compared with 500,000 tons in the first half of 2017.

Alpha updated its 2018 shipment guidance range of 13.8 million tons to 14.5 million tons. As of June 30, the company had domestic commitments for 2.5 million tons of metallurgical coal.

The company will have access to approximately 146 million tons of metallurgical coal, thanks to projects at Black Eagle, Road Fork 52, Lynn Branch and two completed projects at Panther Eagle and Workman Creek.

“This coal is primarily high vol A and low vol A reserves, therefore completion of these projects will serve to strengthen Alpha’s position as the leading provider of high-quality metallurgical coal,” Stetson said.

The company reported that merger of ANR Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Holdings Inc. and Contura Energy Inc. remains on track. The transaction is expected to close prior to the end of the year.