Teck Resources Limited Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Teck Resources Limited (TCK)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 25, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Gregory A. Waller - Vice President of Investor Relations & Strategic Analysis

Donald R. Lindsay - Chief Executive Officer, President, Non Independent Director and Member of Executive Committee

Ronald A. Millos - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance

Robert W. Bell - Chief Commercial Officer of Coal and Vice President

Andrew A. Stonkus - Vice President of Base Metals Marketing

Roger J. Higgins - Senior Vice President of Copper

John F. Gingell - Vice President and Controller

Ian C. Kilgour - Senior Vice President of Coal

Analysts

Curtis Woodworth - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Meredith H. Bandy - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Sohail Tharani - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Jorge M. Beristain - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Oscar Cabrera - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Greg Barnes - TD Securities Equity Research

Garrett S. Nelson - BB&T Capital Markets, Research Division

David E. Beard - Iberia Capital Partners, Research Division

Alec Kodatsky - CIBC World Markets Inc., Research Division

Brian MacArthur - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Kerry Smith - Haywood Securities Inc., Research Division

John Hughes - Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division

David Lipschitz - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

John Charles Tumazos - John Tumazos Very Independent Research, LLC

H. Fraser Phillips - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to Teck Resources' Second Quarter 2012 Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] This conference calls being recorded on July 25, 2012. I would now like to turn the conference call over to Greg Waller, Vice President, Investor Relations and Strategic Analysis. Please go ahead.

Gregory A. Waller

Good morning. Thank you, Catherine. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us this morning for Teck's second quarter earnings conference call.

Before we start, I'd like to draw your attention to the forward-looking information slides on Pages 2 and 3 of our presentation package. This presentation contains forward-looking information regarding our business. Various risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to vary. Teck does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

And at this point, I'd like to turn the call over to Don Lindsay.

Donald R. Lindsay

Thanks, Greg, and good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us. I will start with the review of the results for the quarter, and then turn the presentation over to Ron Millos, our CFO, to address the more in-depth financial topics. And I should say that a number of the other members of the management team are on the call this morning and available to answer your questions.

Starting on Slide 5. This quarter, we achieved record copper production of 90,000 tonnes, thanks, in part to the completion of Antamina's expansion which is now up and running at a slightly better than its nameplate capacity. In coal, our sales during the quarter were over 6.7 million tonnes or at an annualized rate of almost 27 million tonnes. We ended the quarter with a cash balance of about the $3.6 billion and we have new 5-year labor agreements that were ratified of at our Trail operation in June and our Cardinal River operation in July.

Turning to Slide 6. Our second quarter revenues were over $2.5 billion and gross profit before depreciation and amortization was approximately $992 million and profit attributable to shareholders was $268 million. EBITDA was $790 million and adjusted profit, which removes the effect of onetime items and derivatives and exchange gains and losses was $312 million. I'll discuss these items on the next slide.

This quarter, the most significant adjustment is related to the onetime labor settlement at Trail, which resulted in a $38 million after tax charge. Other adjusted items were for asset sales, foreign-exchange and derivative gains. Adjusting for these items, profit was $312 million for the quarter or $0.53 per share.

Turning to our operating results for the quarter on Slide 8. In our coal business, production was 5.7 million tonnes and sales were 1 million tonnes higher at 6.7 million tonnes as customer demand was strong. Production was approximately 700,000 tonnes lower than expected due to the CP Rail strike. Adjusting for these, production would have been 6.4 million tonnes or about 26 million tonnes on an annualized basis. The average realized price for the second quarter was USD 203 per tonne and that's about a 3% discount to the benchmark price of $210 per tonne for the premium brands of coal. Now usually, the average realized price is about a 10% discount to the benchmark price due to the mix of products including some lower PCI and thermal coals.

Second quarter 2012 unit site costs were $77 per tonne and distribution costs came in at $37 per tonne, and this gave us a combined cost of CAD 114 per tonne. And increased waste dripping during the second quarter gave rise to a higher unit site costs, which was related to the CP strike.

Turning to Slide 9. The start of the second quarter, well-positioned due to our inventory build during Q1 2012 and Q4 2011. As a result, we were able to deal with our main rail carrier's labor disruption and then increased customer demand by drawing down our stock calls at the ports. The rail strike, however, did impact production at our Elk Valley operations. The inability to move coal out of the valley pushed mine-ified inventories to capacity and resulted in shutdowns at most of the operations. We estimate lost production to be approximately 700,000 tonnes. Total material moved in the quarter, combining raw coal production and waste rock increased 10% on a year-over-year basis and is now stabilizing at the rate that we feel is necessary to achieve our production target.

In Quintette, newly issued draft guidelines pertaining to caribou management have extended the permitting process. This in turn has impacted the feasibility study and the timeline for the reopening of the Quintette mine. The feasibility is now expected to be complete in Q3 of 2012. So this quarter, with the first coal expected in 2014. Also, subsequent to quarter end, we ratified a new 5-year labor agreement at Cardinal River and the next labor agreement in coal expires in May 2014 at our Line Creek operation.

And finally, quarter-to-date, we have reached agreements with the portion of our coal customers to sell 5 million tonnes at an average price of USD 199 per tonne, and this includes carryover tonnage. I think it's important to keep in mind that we were further along in negotiations this time last quarter and so the quarter-over-quarter comparison to the 6.3 million tonnes we have sold, at this time in the last quarter, is not directly comparable. I'll just repeat that, that the 5 million tonnes we have in the press release so far this quarter is not an apples-to-apples comparison to the 6.3 million tonnes that we have sold at this time in the last quarter.

Slide 10 highlights the progress we are making towards our 28 million tonne production target at our existing 6 mines. This chart shows coal production in the red line in millions of tonnes and total material movement in the blue bars as millions of bank cubic meters, or bcms, on a rolling 4 quarter basis. And as you can see, total material movement continues to move ahead at a steady rate between coal production is somewhat more volatile being impacted by various issues, such as strikes and transportation disruptions. A 28 million tonne annual production rate requires that we move 310 million bcms of total material in the 11:1 strip ratio. And as you can see from the chart, we were operating very close to this level during the second quarter. Due to the strike, we ran out of storage capacity and although we had to curtail coal production and we continued with waste movement and accelerated some maintenance work in order to benefit future production once the rail strike ended. We continue to be very pleased with the progress made on our expansion plans in coal.

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