UK Coal records first profit in three years


UK Coal, the nation's biggest coal producer, is back in the black, reporting half-year pre-tax profits of £7 million.

The group, which had losses of £30.5 million for the same period a year ago, returned to profitability through restructuring its business and changing working practices.

UK Coal, which supplies seven per cent of the country's electricity generation needs, last made a profit in 2003.

First half coal sales rose 19 per cent at 5.7 million tonnes.

Chairman David Jones said the medium-term outlook for deep mines appeared "attractive".

"Coal mining in the UK will continue to be a demanding activity but it is clear that management action has established a robust platform for addressing the challenges," he said.

UK Coal operates five deep mines and employs nearly 4,000 people.

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