In its fourth-quarter earning’s statement, Peabody Energy reported that revenues for the fourth quarter increased 5% year-on-year to $1.52 billion on continued robust seaborne pricing and 4% higher Australian export volumes, leading to Australia’s largest quarterly revenue contribution in five years. Full-year 2017 revenues increased 18% over the prior year to $5.58 billion, driven by higher Australian metallurgical and thermal coal pricing and an 11% increase in Powder River Basin coal shipments.
“A highly successful fourth quarter capped a year of substantial achievement for Peabody, as the company delivered results and generated value,” said Peabody President and CEO Glenn Kellow. “Fourth-quarter results reflect strong operational performance, significant cash generation and debt repayment, meaningful release of restricted cash and continued share repurchases, and we have much more progress targeted for 2018.”
Fourth-quarter sales volumes for Peabody’s Australian platform totaled 8.8 million tons, including 4 million tons of metallurgical coal sold at an average price of $127.14/ton and 3.4 million tons of export thermal coal sold at an average price of $72.89/ton, with the remainder delivered under domestic contracts. Fourth-quarter Australian thermal coal realized pricing increased 15% to $55.22 per ton, driven by strong seaborne demand.
In line with the company’s full-year targets, the Australian operations shipped 11.7 million tons of metallurgical coal and 12.5 million tons of export thermal coal in 2017 at average realized prices of $132.29/ton and $68.95/ton, respectively. The company credited strengthening seaborne pricing, productivity improvements and record North Goonyella production for the Australian platform’s performance.
Peabody’s U.S. operations delivered 40.4 million tons of coal on the fourth quarter, in line with the prior year. Revenues per ton increased 2% to $18.38/ton, primarily due to favorable mix and the benefit of a contractual settlement. U.S. costs per ton increased largely due to planned maintenance in the Midwest and higher fuel costs across operations.
For the full year, the U.S. platform delivered average Adjusted EBITDA margins of 25%, largely driven by the benefit of a contractual settlement and improved cost performance in the Western segment related to higher Twentymile mine volumes and favorable ratio changes at the Kayenta mine.