UK Coal gets back in profit

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UK Coal has moved back into profit, but still faces a challenging financial position, resulting from losses totalling £270 million over the last three years.

Revenues at the Doncaster-based coal and property group increased by 80 per cent during the first six months of the year to £256.1 million, compared with £141.3 in the first six months of 2010.

Meanwhile, pre-tax profits stood at £22.2 million, compared with a loss of £92 million in the same period last year.

Jonson Cox, chairman of the Harworth-based group, said: “This set of results marks my first six months as chairman. Despite this relatively good half year, the Group still remains in a challenging financial position.

“Losses of around £270 million over the last three years have left net debt levels over £200m. Whilst we are making progress, particularly in tackling historically unreliable production, pension liabilities and rising employment costs, there remains much to do. Most importantly we need, operating safely, to start generating cash from our mining business.”

UK Coal says it has made good progress on reducing debt by selling property assets, however, net debt would have increased marginally, had the company not sold the property.

The firm says its Waverley site in South Yorkshire is among those attracting interest from developers.