Low export prices, high dollar to blame for profits drop

NEW Hope Coal's profits fell by more than 30% in the past six months, according to sobering results released to the Australian Stock Exchange this week.

The southern Queensland firm told investors its profits after tax fell from $101.1 million in the final six months of 2011 to $68.8 million for the second half of 2012.

Lower export prices, plus a high Australian dollar were given as reasons for the lower earnings, on top of a 300,000 tonne fall in production.

The miner will now focus on cutting costs while growing the oil, gas and energy elements of the business.

For now, New Hope managing director Rob Neale said the miner was doing well to remain profitable.

He said it was prepared to weather the tough conditions so it could be ready to rebound when things improved.

New Hope operates both the New Acland coal mine west of Brisbane and the West Moreton project.

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