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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Coal producer returns to profit
Pit head and miners
UK Coal has five remaining deep mines
The UK's biggest coal producer is making a profit for the first time in three years, it has announced.

UK Coal, which supplies 7% of the UK's electricity generation needs, saw half-yearly profits of 7m.

The firm, which has deep mines in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Coventry, reported losses of 30.5m for the same period in 2005.

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

UK Coal, which owns the former assets of British Coal, last made profits in 2003.

Mr Jones put the improvements down to a series of initiatives, including a reduction in the amount of time lost to production gaps and a cut in costs following restructuring efforts.

UK Coal has mothballed three of its deep mines: Rossington, near Doncaster: Ellington in Northumberland; and Harworth in Nottinghamshire.

Remaining UK Coal deep mines
Kellingley, West Yorks
Maltby, South Yorks
Daw Mill, near Coventry
Welbeck, Notts
Thoresby, Notts

The company has five remaining deep mines in use and said that despite under-performance in July and August, the sites were likely to be operating at a profitable level over the remainder of this year.

UK Coal said existing long-term contracts would expire over the next 18 months and were likely to be renewed at much higher market prices.

Mr Jones added: "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."


SEE ALSO
Work resumes at mine after death
08 Aug 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
UK Coal's 2005 losses hit 62.2m
02 Mar 06 |  Business
UK Coal to close second deep pit
07 Sep 05 |  South Yorkshire
Deep coal mine to end production
19 Jul 05 |  South Yorkshire
UK Coal plunges into deeper loss
03 Mar 05 |  Business
Planning fears hit UK Coal shares
29 Nov 04 |  Business
Burning desire remains for coal
11 Mar 04 |  Business

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