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Press release from PR Newswire

Peabody Energy Chairman And CEO Reports Strong Safety, Financial And Sustainability Performance At Annual Shareholders Meeting

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Peabody Energy Chairman And CEO Reports Strong Safety, Financial And Sustainability Performance At Annual Shareholders Meeting12:57 EDT Tuesday, May 01, 2012ST. LOUIS, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce announced at the company's annual shareholders meeting that 2011 marked the best year in Peabody Energy's 129-year history. The company achieved its strongest safety performance and best financial results on record.  "Best practices in safety and operations drive strong results," said Boyce. "Since 2007, our revenues have increased 80 percent; EBITDA has more than doubled; and operating cash flows are up 260 percent. International operations contribute half of the company's earnings, and we expect the Australian and Asian share to rise even more going forward." Highlights from 2011 include:A new global safety record of 1.92 incidents per 200,000 hours worked. This reflects a nearly 30 percent improvement over the company's 2010 performance and the fourth consecutive year of improvement; Record financial results, including new marks for revenues, operating profit, EBITDA, net income, earnings per share and operating cash flows; and More than 30 major safety, environmental and corporate honors around the world. Peabody earned recognition from the Foreign Policy Association for ethical and environmental responsibility. Boyce said the global supercycle for coal was alive and well, with rising electricity generation and steel demand in China and India driving strong demand for coal.  The International Energy Agency recently forecast a robust 65 percent increase in global coal use by 2035, projecting that coal will surpass oil and natural gas as the largest energy source in the world within the next quarter century. Boyce added that Peabody is well positioned against the backdrop of favorable long-term supply and demand fundamentals for the global coal industry. He commented on multiple catalysts for the company's continued growth, including: FAVORABLE DEMAND TRENDS:  "Coal's demand trends are significant.  So, too, are the barriers that constrain coal supplies, including regulations, geology, infrastructure, labor and cost structures," Boyce said. "Against this backdrop, Peabody is very well positioned."GROWING COAL GENERATION: "Electricity generation is coal's largest end customer base, and China and India lead the global build-out of coal-fueled generation. Over the next five years, we see generation growing by 385 gigawatts. That requires more than 1.3 billion tonnes of additional coal, equivalent to one new 500 megawatt power plant every three days through 2016." INCREASING STEEL INTENSITY: "Within steel, the mix of population growth and increasing per-capita intensity is significant.  This has profound implications for metallurgical coal use.  In fact, if India, Brazil and China reached a traditional level of maturity in steel intensity relative to more developed countries, global metallurgical coal use would more than double ? adding 1.2 billion tonnes of annual consumption."Peabody's earnings growth and strong margins distinguish the company from peers, Boyce said.  The company also is delivering on multiple expansion projects and has a large project pipeline.Looking ahead, Peabody continues to advance several key focus areas in 2012: Maintaining excellent performance across core areas of safety and operations; Integrating the company's recent major acquisition into its Australian platform by driving operational improvements and realizing synergies; Advancing organic growth projects to serve growing global demand centers; and Strengthening the balance sheet by reducing debt. "Peabody is energy and energy is the essential building block for healthy living and modern society," said Boyce. "We are proud to advance energy solutions that are energizing the world."Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining and clean coal solutions.  The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on six continents.  For further information, go to PeabodyEnergy.com and CoalCanDoThat.com.CONTACT:Meg Gallagher314-342-7963 SOURCE Peabody Energy