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Whitehaven profit slumps 95% as Australia’s coal prices collapse

Whitehaven, one of Australia’s largest coal miners, has seen its profits nearly wiped out as coal prices collapse around the world.

Following a record-breaking result a year earlier, Whitehaven on Wednesday said its earnings crashed 95 per cent from $564.9 million to $30 million in the year to June 30. Shareholders will receive a massively trimmed full-year dividend of 1.5¢ a share, down from 50¢ in 2019.

A growing number of global fund managers are pledging to exit their investments in thermal coal.

A growing number of global fund managers are pledging to exit their investments in thermal coal.Credit:Nic Walker

The profit crash comes as the virus-driven economic downturn weighs on global energy demand and prices of coal, one of Australia’s largest export commodity exports. Benchmark prices for top-quality NSW thermal coal exports have fallen from $US68 a tonne to $US55 in the June quarter, well below the yearly average of nearly $US100 a tonne in the 2019 financial year.

Whitehaven said its full-year result had also been hit by disruptions from summer bushfires, drought, and staffing problems at its flagship Maules Creek mine.

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