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China Shenhua first-half net profit up 43.6 percent
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China Shenhua, the country's largest coal producer, saw firs-half net profits rise to 14.15 billion yuan (2.07 billion U.S. dollars), up 43.6 percent from the same period last year, the company reported late on Friday.

Earnings per share for the major coal producer were 0.71 yuan, up 30.5 percent, its interim report showed.

Its half-year revenue totaled 49.28 billion U.S dollars, up 26.8 percent.

The good performance was attributed to rising coal prices. Domestic demand driven by fast-developing sectors and soaring oil prices drove up coal prices, said Liu Shuwei, director of the Chinese enterprise research center at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

In the first half, the coal price was 353.5 yuan per tonne, up 12 percent.

Output hit 90 million tonnes, up 17.5 percent, and sales reached 115.1 million tonnes, up 17.7 percent. Gross power generation hit 47.4 billion kwh, up 24.4 percent, and sales were at 44.2 billion kwh, up 24.6 percent, according to the report.

Its 10.6 million tonnes in exports made it China's top coal exporter.

However, Liu said the rising producer price index was expected to squeeze margins for the rest of the year. Increasing materials costs would be another unfavorable factor for the company.

Shenhua would seek to expand business overseas. A company report on Aug. 15 stated it had been granted the right of exploration in Australia, which would enrich reserves. Liu said that would increase its competitiveness and capacity.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2008)

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