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Price rise and output boost coal firm profit
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China Coal Energy Co., the nation's second-largest coal producer by sales, posted a third-quarter profit of 2.19 billion yuan (US$320 million) on increased output and higher fuel prices.

The company didn't give a year-earlier figure or a sales number in its a Hong Kong stock exchange statement on Friday.

Chinese coal-mining companies have benefited from rising prices that touched a record 1,080 yuan a ton in July at Qinhuangdao port, the benchmark for the nation's coal. The fastest-growing major economy burns coal to generate almost 80 percent of its electricity. China Coal, based in Beijing, fell 14 percent to HK$3.62 (47 US cents) in Hong Kong trading on Friday before the earnings announcement.

The company increased output by 9.6 percent to 75.36 million tons in the first nine months to meet domestic demand, it said on October 6. Domestic sales rose 21 percent to 56 million tons while exports reached 12.09 million tons during the period, the coal producer said at the time. China Coal's first-half profit climbed 59 percent to 4.22 billion yuan, it said in July.

The company plans to more than double capital spending this year to 16.2 billion yuan to tap rising demand. It will boost output by 15 million tons a year in the next three years, former Chairman Jing Tianliang said in April.

China Coal plans to sell 25 percent of its coal in the spot market this year, compared with 18 percent in 2007, President Yang Lieke said on April 10.

China's coking and thermal coal demand rise may slow to 5 percent next year, David Fang, a director at the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association, told Bloomberg News.

(Shanghai Daily October 27, 2008)

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