Highlights from 2011 included a new global safety record of 1.92 incidents per 200,000 hours worked. This reflects a nearly 30% improvement over the company’s 2010 performance and the fourth consecutive year of improvement; record financial results, including new marks for revenues, operating profit, EBITDA, net income, earnings per share and operating cash flows. Peabody also received more than 30 major safety, environmental and corporate honors around the world.
But growth going forward continues to be tied to the “global super cycle for coal…which remains alive and well, with rising electricity generation and steel demand in China and India driving strong demand for coal. The International Energy Agency recently forecast a robust 65% increase in global coal use by 2035, projecting that coal will surpass oil and natural gas as the largest energy source in the world within the next quarter century.
Despite what is happening in the U.S., Peabody sees increased coal generation worldwide. “Over the next five years, we see global generation growing by 385 gigawatts. That requires more than 1.3 billion [metric] tons of additional coal, equivalent to one new 500 mw power plant every three days through 2016,” said Boyce.
Looking ahead, Peabody continues to advance several key focus areas in 2012 including integrating the company’s recent major acquisition into its Australian platform by driving operational improvements and realizing synergies.