Rio Tinto’s Coal & Allied has recorded a 66% increase in profits for the first half of the year, the company announced to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The company’s net profit for the six months ending June 30 rose to $323.6 million, from $195.1 million during the same period from last year.
Total revenue rose 30.7% to $1.25 billion, as lower sales volumes were offset by slightly stronger average US dollar-denominated coal prices and the benefit of a weaker Australian dollar against the US dollar, the company said.
According to Coal & Allied managing director Bill Champion, high coal prices from the second half of 2008 also helped increase the profit.
“The record coal prices from the second half of 2008 continued in the first quarter of 2009,” he said.
“However, we will see lower US dollar denominated coal prices in the second half of 2009 compared with the second half of 2008.”
Coal & Allied also announced that its production for the first half of the year was down 8% to 8.7 million tonnes, which it said was a reflection of adverse weather interruptions, an increased strip ratio at its Mount Thorley Warkworth mine and the commissioning of a new coal handling facility at the Bengalla mine.