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Yanzhou Coal clings to profit because of 'innovative measures', but dividend halved

Yanzhou Coal MiningCo. Ltd.'s net income attributable to shareholders slipped to 164.5million Chinese yuan in 2015, from 766.2million yuan a year earlier, mainly due to the continued decline ofcoal prices and Chinese imports due to oversupply.

As a result of the lower profit, the company has halved its dividendpayment to 1 fen per share for 2015, according to the March 29 report.

Chairman Li Xiyong said that in 2015, the global economy experienceda deep adjustment, China's economic growth slowed and coal companies faced the pressuresof environment protection measures.

"The supply and demand in coal market was severely out ofbalance with coal price at a low level and more and more coal companies at greatloss," he said.

Total sales income slumped to 36.40 billion yuan, representinga decrease of 23.97 billion yuan, or 39.7%, compared with that of 2014, mainly dueto the decrease in price and sales volumes of self-produced coal.

Sales income from the coal business fell 43.84% to 32.88 billionyuan.

Yanzhou believes it was able to remain in the black because ofits proactive measures during the downturn.

"Confronted with difficulties and challenges, Yanzhou Coalproactively took innovative measures, such as cost reduction and efficiency enhancement,profit-making through multiple channels, efficiency increase by synergy to tacklingdifficulties," Li said.

"As a result, Yanzhou Coal withstood the downward risk of[the] coal industry in a maximum way and achieved coordinated development of allbusinesses though majority of coal enterprises were at great loss."

Meanwhile, the company announced in a separate March 29 HongKong Stock Exchange filing that it has struck a deal to buy a 65% stake in YankuangGroup Finance for 1.24 billion yuan to strengthen its financial services business.

The interest is being acquired from Yankuang Group, which isYanzhou's controlling shareholder with a roughly 56.52% stake.

As of March 29, US$1 wasequivalent to 6.51 Chinese yuan.