Bold strategy of China's Yancoal in Australia pays off

Updated 2018-03-01 14:40:01 Xinhua

The Chinese-owned coal producer Yancoal Australia Ltd has reported a huge jump in their full year financial results on Thursday, up 624 million Australian dollars (482.65 million U.S. dollars) on the previous year.

The operator of five underground and open-cut mine sites down under recorded a 311 million Australian dollar (240 million U.S. dollars) profit before tax in 2017, bouncing off a loss of 313 million Australian dollars (242 million U.S. dollars) at the end of 2016.

"This has been a major makeover for this company over the last 12 months," CMC Markets' chief market strategist Michael McCarthy told Xinhua.

"There is not just any one factor here, they have gone to extensive lengths to find the assets and bring them into production in partnership with others."

"It was a bold strategy and given the numbers that we have seen today, it indicates that it is paying off."

Yancoal's Chairman Li Xiyong believes the strategic equity-funded buy-out of Coal & Allied was the leading factor in Yancoal's significant financial turnaround.

"The strength of this acquisition has re-capitalized our business, improved cash flow, brought new investment into our shareholder base and significantly reduced gearing," he said.

"We remain committed to investing into the local resources sector and making a valuable contribution to the communities in which we operate."

Also helping the company's impressive performance last year was a dramatic increase in production which saw Yancoal effectively double its output to 923 million tonnes, at a time when the global price of the commodity increased.

"They are in the right space," McCarthy said.

"They are in high quality metallurgical coal which is where you get more pricing power."

"Coking coal is fairly generic and very common around the globe but the metallurgical coal is where they are getting their margins up."

At 01:30 (AEDT), Yancoal was trading at 0.16 cents per share, up 3.23 percent on a day where ASX 200 material stocks were down 1.30 percent.

"Yancoal has put in some extraordinary performances on the index, and often in the opposite direction to the rest of the market and to the rest of the sector," McCarthy said.

"So it does suggest there is a high degree of trading in the stock at the moment."

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