August 23, 2017 / 11:02 AM / 10 months ago

China Coal Energy's H1 profit soars on rising demand, prices

(Reuters) - China Coal Energy, the country’s second-largest coal producer, posted a 175 percent rise in first-half net profit on robust demand from utilities and government moves to curb oversupply and improve mine safety.

Net profit rose to 1.7 billion yuan ($255.14 million) from 616 million yuan a year earlier, it said in a filing on the Shanghai stock exchange on Wednesday.

“We expect coal market to see stable supply and demand in the near future. Coal prices will remain within a reasonable range,” China Coal President Li Yanjiang said in a statement.

Thermal coal prices shot to record highs this year as people cranked up air conditioners due to a prolonged heatwave in China, hydropower cuts in the south and a crackdown on mine safety.

Coal futures prices have risen more than 40 percent since the start of this year to 591 yuan ($88.71) on Wednesday, which is expected to boost earnings of other major suppliers, such as China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd and Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Co Ltd.

Shenhua Energy, whose first-half results are also due this month, said in late July it expected net profit to jump by almost 150 percent.

($1 = 6.6623 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Meng Meng; Editing by Susan Thomas

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