PERTH ( – South Africa-focused coal producer Universal Coal on Thursday told shareholders that attributable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) were 28% higher for the 2018 financial year, compared with the previous half-year guidance.

Group Ebitda for 2018 is expected to be A$70-million, which is 27% higher than the previous A$55-million guidance, while attributable Ebitda is expected to be A$48.5-million for the full year.

The ASX-listed miner said that the strong increase in Ebtda expectations resulted from a strong performance of the Kangala operation, which exceeded projected sales by some 150 000 t in 2018.

The New Clydesdale Colliery also achieved a 14% higher sales tonnage than previously projected, with the project receiving some $27-million of revenue per export tonne more than in the projected forecast for the period between January and June 2018.

Universal said that the increase in revenue contributed to an additional A$12.2-million of revenue for the last six months of 2018.

Furthermore, the original Ebitda was enhanced by a A$2.6-million foreign exchange gain, due to the increase in the South African Rand/Australian Dollar exchange rate between January and June.