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Banpu's net profit climbs in Q4'17 on higher coal sales, prices

Bangkok-based coal miner Banpu PCL posted a 55.4% year-over-year increase in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2017 to US$66.2 million, or 1.3 U.S. cents per share.

The profit included a foreign exchange loss of US$21.4 million due to the strengthening of the Thai baht, compared to forex gains of US$7.8 million a year ago.

Sales revenue in the three-month period jumped to US$891.3 million, from US$652.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, on the back of higher coal sales volumes and prices.

The company's quarterly coal sales increased to 10.3 million tonnes in the quarter, compared to 9.8 million tonnes in the year-ago quarter, according to the Feb. 22 earnings release.

EBITDA in the quarter increased to US$273.8 million, compared to US$216.2 million a year ago. EBITDA from coal operations increased 45% to US$243 million, and from gas 184% to US$7 million, partially offset by a 48% drop in EBITDA from power to US$24 million, on a yearly basis.

Production in the period declined to 9.0 million tonnes of coal, from 9.4 million tonnes of output in the fourth quarter of 2016.

On a full-year basis, Banpu's net profit in 2017 swelled to US$233.7 million, or 4.6 cents per share, from US$47.5 million, or 1.3 cents per share, in 2016.

Forex losses in the year increased to US$75.8 million in the year, compared to US$11.9 million of losses recorded a year ago.

Sales revenues in the year jumped to US$2.88 billion, from US$2.26 billion in the prior year. Coal sales shrunk to 36.6 million tonnes, from 40.0 million tonnes a year ago, while production declined to 34.4 million tonnes, from 38 million tonnes in 2016.