Monday 28th February 2011
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Christchurch-based coal miner Solid Energy today reported a return to interim profit from a 68% rise in revenue.
The state-owned company did not declare a dividend, citing the uncertainty created by the magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch last week.
The profit after tax in the six months to December 31 of $45.2 million was a significant improvement on the loss of $6.5 million in the same period the previous year.
Revenue rose 68% to $433 million, reflecting a 40% increase in coal sales and 56% rise in coking coal prices.
The company sold 2.16 million tonnes of coal in the six month period, up from 1.54 million tonnes the previous year, and export sales rose to 1.16 million tonnes from 674,000 tonnes the previous year.
The company did not make a public presentation and is not taking questions on the result as it focuses on dealing with the impact of the earthquake on its staff and business.
Its mines, many of which are on the West Coast of the South Island, are not affected but its export supply chain is and the company is stock piling coal at its mines. Force majeure notices have been issued to export customers.
The Christchurch head office has suffered minor damage, but is currently operational under restricted conditions.
"The major impact on our business has been disruption to our export coal distribution operation through Lyttelton Port of Christchurch which has temporarily ceased operation," the company said today.
The full extent of the damage to Lyttelton is still being assessed.
"We are working closely with our export supply chain partners towards resuming, initially limited, operations from Lyttelton but the timing of this is not yet known with certainty. As a result, no dividend is being declared at this time," the company said.
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