Coal & Allied on track

HIGHER contract coal prices injected life into Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal and Allied’s half year profits, with the producer posting $A126.4 million profit compared with last year’s $A3.3 million.
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Coal & Allied managing director Dr Grant Thorne

Angie Tomlinson

"This result reflects the strong global market for seaborne-traded coal in 2005. Coal & Allied is now realising the opportunities available, with the large majority of its contract business having been priced under the much stronger market conditions that now prevail,” company director Grant Thorne said.

Saleable coal production for the period was 14 million tonnes.

“Production at all operations has been to the maximum consistent with the restrictions imposed by the Capacity Balancing System operating through Newcastle’s coal loading terminal,” he said.

Thorne said planned increases in port and rail capacity would flow through to Coal and Allied before mid-2006.

“The strength of the Australian dollar continues to have a moderating influence on results. This, together with higher sea freight and other business inputs reflecting buoyant industry conditions, will continue to impact earnings in the second half of the year.”