* Q3 net profit 12.8 mln euros, vs forecast 3.4 mln loss
* Economic downturn has hit coal prices
* Selling below cost in Q4, sees tough 2013
PRAGUE, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Czech coalminer New World Resources said a sharp drop in prices meant it was currently selling at a loss and expected a difficult end to the year.
NWR, which supplies central Europe’ major steel makers - units of ArcelorMittal and Evraz - also said it managed to make a quarterly profit thanks to lower costs, after struggling with falling sales as demand dwindles.
The economic downturn across Europe has hit heavy industry as companies and governments curb investment in equipment and infrastructure to cut debt and costs.
NWR said on Wednesday third-quarter net profit fell 62 percent to 12.8 million euros ($16 million), compared with a forecast for a 3.4 million euro loss. Revenue fell a fifth to 319 million euros.
“The fourth-quarter pricing is much worse than we have seen between January and September,” chief financial officer Marek Jelinek told Reuters.
“If you look at the average price that we are selling at in the current quarter, it is 102 euros a tonne. So, on the net basis, that is a loss-making proposition. If you look at all costs including depreciation and financing, that is higher than 102, so the current quarter is very difficult for us.”
NWR expected a “quite difficult” 2013, he said.
Last month, the miner reported a further drop in coking coal and coke prices for the fourth quarter, and cut its 2012 target for external coal sales to 10.2-10.3 million tonnes, from 10.25-10.5 million tonnes. It repeated that target on Wednesday.
It had maintained its full-year production outlook at 11.0-11.1 million tonnes.
Brokerage Patria Finance said it expected a 40 million euro net loss in the fourth quarter, bringing the full-year result to zero. “We do not expect an interim dividend to be paid for the second half,” Patria said.
NWR shares were up 4.9 percent at 81.00 Czech crowns at 1050 GMT, recovering in full a drop in the previous session.