Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: ARLP) today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 (the "2012 Quarter"). Coal sales revenues increased 5.4% to $429.6 million due to higher sales volumes and pricing compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2011 (the "2011 Quarter”). These increases were offset by higher operating costs and the pass through of losses related to the White Oak Resources LLC (“White Oak”) development project, which led to lower EBITDA and net income in the 2012 Quarter. Compared to the 2011 Quarter, EBITDA fell 7.6% to $131.5 million and net income declined 13.0% to $83.0 million, or $1.54 per basic and diluted limited partner unit. (For a definition of EBITDA and related reconciliations to comparable GAAP financial measures, please see the end of this release).
ARLP also announced that the Board of Directors of its managing general partner increased the cash distribution to unitholders for the 2012 Quarter to $1.025 per unit (an annualized rate of $4.10 per unit), payable on May 15, 2012 to all unitholders of record as of the close of trading on May 8, 2012. The announced distribution represents a 15.2% increase over the cash distribution of $0.89 per unit for the 2011 Quarter and a 3.5% increase over the cash distribution of $0.99 per unit for the 2011 fourth quarter (the “Sequential Quarter”).
"During the 2012 Quarter, our operations performed well – meeting production and cost targets," said Joseph W. Craft III, President and Chief Executive Officer. "A mild winter and a slow economy delayed coal deliveries during the 2012 Quarter as inventories at our operations grew 575,000 tons more than planned causing our earnings to be below expectations. We view this inventory build as a timing delay as we expect these tons will be shipped over the balance of the year and benefit earnings in the upcoming quarters. We recently completed the acquisition of the Onton mine and have updated our 2012 guidance to include this transaction and to reflect the start of the Tunnel Ridge longwall in late May. Our other projects at Gibson South and White Oak continue to move forward and we remain focused on delivering growth to our unitholders. Reflecting this confidence, our Board of Directors again increased quarterly cash distributions by 3.5% – the sixteenth consecutive quarter of distribution increases to unitholders."