Coal India March-qtr profit falls 18 pct on lower sales

Thu May 29, 2014 5:50pm IST

A worker sprays water over piles of coal in Gujarat April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

A worker sprays water over piles of coal in Gujarat April 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

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REUTERS - Coal India(COAL.NS), the world's top coal miner by output, said on Thursday its March-quarter net profit fell 18 percent, a fourth straight decline in quarterly profit, due to sluggish sales volumes during the period.

India is the world's third-largest coal importer even though it sits on the fifth-largest reserves. Coal India produces more than 80 percent of India's total, but often fails to meet output targets.

Reuters reported exclusively last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi was considering restructuring Coal India, the state-controlled mining behemoth, in a bid to halt a decline in output.

Coal India said its net profit for the fiscal fourth quarter ended March fell to 44.34 billion rupees ($753 million) from 54.14 billion rupees a year earlier. Net sales were nearly flat at 199.98 billion rupees.

Analysts had forecast a net profit of 48.74 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Coal India said it produced 143.22 million tonnes of coal in the March quarter, compared with 143.30 million tonnes a year ago. Shipment was almost flat at 129.94 million tonnes during the quarter.

Shares in Coal India, the country's fifth most valuable company, ended 1.8 percent lower on Thursday, having fallen 2.5 percent earlier, while the Sensex ended 1.3 percent lower.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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