New Hope Group Statement

29 May 2014

Ipswich based diversified energy company New Hope Group has announced interim results of a business efficiency review undertaken as a consequence of the current downturn in the coal industry.

New Hope Group Chief Executive Officer Shane Stephan said the industry had been hit hard with a significant drop in the coal price, coupled with a strong Australian dollar.

"The New Hope Group has been proactively reviewing its cost structures for some time as a result of the downturn," he said.

"The continuing difficult times for the coal industry have required some difficult decisions to be taken regarding employment to allow the company to endure this low point in the cycle and emerge in the best shape possible when conditions improve."

The efficiency review process has identified productivity improvements which would initially result in a number of positions becoming redundant at the company’s West Moreton operations and at its corporate office.

Approximately 5 percent of the workforce would be affected across the New Hope Group.

He said that outcomes in relation to other areas of the business would be announced in the coming weeks, but that the overall workforce would remain largely intact.

Employees affected by any redundancies would receive professional advice to assist them to find alternative employment.

Mr Stephan said the review would have no impact on production at the company’s coal operations, with current tonnages being maintained from both West Moreton and New Acland.

"Importantly, the company is committed to progressing the approval process for the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project, to ensure the continuation of the New Acland operation, north-west of Oakey, beyond its expected closure date of 2017," Mr Stephan said.