Whilst the figure was down compared to $147 million during the first quarter of 2003, Fording said the quarters were not directly comparable because of one-time gains and varying asset mixes in 2003.
Income from operations was $9 million and coal sales volumes improved 16% over the prior year.
"Rail service during the latter part of the fourth quarter of 2003 and into February this year did not meet our requirements," said Fording president Jim Popowich.
"These difficulties resulted in low coal inventories at our ports and significant delays with vessel loadings, which increased our costs, slowed our sales and impacted our mine operations. However, rail service has returned to normal levels and we have now cleared the backlog of vessels waiting for coal."
Popowich said strong demand for seaborne coking coal and price increases for Fording’s coal products would take effect in the second quarter.
He anticipated Elk Valley Coal would reach the previously estimated sales volume of 25 million tonnes for the year.