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Banpu swings to Q1 loss on one-off court payment, forex loss

Banpu PCL swung to a net loss of US$40.0 million in the first quarter from a year-ago net profit of US$40.9 million, according to a May 11 release.

The Thai company's profit was affected by a court ordered one-off payment of US$86 million in connection with the Hongsa coal-fired power plant in Laos, as well as a foreign exchange loss of US$33 million due to strong appreciation of the Thai baht against the U.S. dollar.

Revenues climbed to US$700.1 million from US$632.9 million a year earlier, driven by higher coal prices. Of this figure, US$593.2 million came from the coal business.

Group EBITDA also rose to US$227.4 million from US$216.3 million.

The company sold a total of 7.31 million tonnes of coal, down from 8.59 million tonnes in the prior-year quarter. Sales included 4.42 million tonnes from the Indonesian coal operation, reflecting a decrease of 18%, while sales from the Australian coal operation slipped 9% to 2.89 million tonnes.

Coal production fell to 6.92 million tonnes in the quarter from 8.35 million tonnes. The company produced 4.37 million tonnes from its Indonesian operation and 2.55 million tonnes from its Australian operation.