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NWR reported a loss of €50 million ($67.5 million) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) from continuing operations in the first nine months of 2013.

This compares with a positive Ebitda of €220 million ($297 million) in the January-September period last year and follows a €307 million ($414.2 million) non-cash impairment charge for mining assets recorded in NWR’s half-year results this year.

“With the difficult market conditions continuing into the second half of 2013, we have accelerated the execution of the first pillar of NWR’s strategy, to optimise our current mining operations,” chairman Gareth Penny said.

In September, NWR decided to close its uncompetitive Paskov coking coal mine, with the phasing and terms to be determined after discussions with the Czech government and other stakeholders.

In the same month, the company sold its coke subsidiary OKK to Metalimex Group in a wide-ranging cost-cutting exercise, as NWR seeks to become Europe’s leading coking coal producer and marketer by 2017.

The company sold 3.423 million tonnes of coking coal in the first nine months of this year, down from 4.231 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

NWR’s average realised prices fell by 26% year-on-year to €98 ($132) per tonne in the same comparison.

Metal Bulletin’s coking coal index for premium low-volatility material averaged $162.09 per tonne cfr Jingtang in January-September this year.