NWR gave an update on its business portfolio optimisation. NWR considers temporary or permanent Paskov mine shutdown saying sale of mine in Czech Republic is unlikely at present. Final decision is expected in weeks.
/ The company said earlier it is to conduct a review of all its mines and may shut some unprofitable sites to improve its operating cash-flow generation. The company goal is to decrease of mining cost per tonne and save 100 mln. EUR of cash till the end of the year.
Paskov mine is the smallest of OKD’s mines producing about 1 mln. tones of coal per year with 90% portion of high quality (hard) coking coal. On the other hand, Paskov is the mine with highest cost in our opinion as it is the most labour intensive one – employing 3 000 workers (20% of the total) which means that roughly twice as high number of people is needed to get a tonne of coal vs. average. Please note that labour costs represents circa 50% of total mining costs.
We expect that there can be hardly any other bidders for NWR’s coking and mining assets than polish miners, especially JSW. We expect JSW might be intereseted only in coke battery (OKK) and polish development project Debiensko. We see the update as sligtly NEGATIVE as some cash-benefits from the shutdown will come later than in case of a sale, nevertheless such a development should have been expected.
Please note that S&P also downgrades NWR to „B-“ from „B“ and cut outlook to NEGATIVE from STABLE late Friday which may lead to a significant pressure on NWR shares.
JSW confirmed that they received an invitation from NWR to purchase coke and mining assets. However, JSW at this point is only interested in coke assets (they submitted an offer), according to Citi notes from the meeting with JSW management. JSW is not interested in mining assets, seeing them as low quality, Citi wrote last Thursday. /We expect the offer price to be close to 70 mln. EUR which may correspond to NWR’s „cash-deficit“ in 1 or. max. 2 quarters in the current coal price environment; just FYI