Lower exports, higher costs take Gina Rinehart target Atlas Iron to loss
Atlas Iron — which is being taken over by Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart — has blamed lower exports, lower sales and higher costs for a $162.9 million full-year loss.
Ms Rinehart’s privately owned Hancock Prospecting has moved past 70 per cent ownership amid a $390 million play for the company.
Atlas (ASX:ARO) has reported a 440 per cent drop in profit from the previous year, when it made a $48 million.
The company shipped 9.2m wet metric tonnes of iron ore for the year, which was down from 14.4m wmt the year before — a 36 per cent drop off.
That meant sales revenue dropped 37 per cent ($547m down from $871m) and contributed to a 84 per cent hit to EBITDA earnings ($19m down from $116m).
Atlas told investors in its unaudited financial results today that was due to the end of life mine at Wodgina and Abydos.
“Underlying EBITDA decreased significantly substantially as a result of lower revenue driven by lower sales volumes, lower USD headline price and higher discounts for low-grade product more than offsetting a higher proportion of lump product and increased lump premiums,” this morning’s announcement read.
It was also due to “higher costs due to greater average haul distance from mine to port, higher sea freight charges and lower fixed cost dilution owing to fewer tonnes sold”.
The Hancock Offer
Atlas told investors today that the Hancock offer would close on August 31.
Ms Rinehart had been in a battle with fellow high-profile mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest to take over the company; Twiggy, whose NCZ Investments holds a 19.9pc stake in Atlas, attempted to get the regulator involved to no avail.
The company kept mum on FY19 guidance, saying it would wait until Redstone had conducted a strategic review of Atlas’s portfolio, noting that it “will continue operating its Mt Webber mine at about 7 million tonnes per annum alongside existing lithium DSO processing activities”.
Atlas also said that outside of its predominant iron ore revenue stream, logistics services for lithium DSO and manganese lump have for the first time contributed $2.3m in net income.
The company’s shares were flat on the news at 4.2c.