Thai Banpu sees 2007 revenues up on coal prices

Thai Banpu sees 2007 revenues up on coal prices

Banpu PCL , Thailand’s largest coal miner, said on Tuesday it expected 2007 revenues to rise by 10-12 percent, beating forecasts, due to higher coal prices and higher contributions from its power plants in China.

“Our revenues in 2007 should rise by 10-12 percent from more than 30 billion baht in 2006,” chief executive Chanin Vongkusolkit told reporters.

Fourteen analysts polled by Reuters Estimates expected Banpu to post 2007 revenues of 32.4 billion baht ($900 million), up 2.3 percent from 31.7 billion baht forecast for 2006. The company is due to release 2006 earnings by the end of next month.

Average coal prices were expected to be around $37 per dollar this year, up from $35 last year, and the higher prices would help boost gross margins above last year’s 37-38 percent, Chanin said.

Banpu expected to sell 21.5 million tonnes of coal in 2007, unchanged from 2006, he said.

Banpu operates two mines in China, two in Thailand and five in Indonesia. It shut down one mine in Indonesia to reduce costs last year. The company also has three power plants in China.

At 0920 GMT, Banpu shares were down 0.6 percent at 182 baht, while the overall Thai stock index was down nearly 1 percent. ($1=35.98 Baht)

Source: Reuters

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