Thai coal miner Banpu beats Q3 forecast

15 November 2008 | 04:39 Code : 18340 Geoscience events
Banpu PCL BANP.BK, Thailand’s top coal miner, reported a better-than-expected....

Banpu PCL BANP.BK, Thailand’s top coal miner, reported a better-than-expected 81 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Monday, its best quarter of the year, as rising selling prices boosted growth.Banpu’s net profit rose to 3.11 billion baht ($89 million), or 11.45 baht per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, beating an average forecast of 2.95 billion baht from eight analysts surveyed by Reuters.But recent global credit turmoil and slowing demand for coal from China would affect fourth-quarter earnings, along with the lower contribution expected from its 50 percent owned, 1,400 MW Thai BLCP power plant due to a maintenance shutdown, analysts said."We expect fourth-quarter earnings to be lower than in the third. Thus, we are leaving our 2008 forecast at 9.3 billion," KGI Securities’s Sutthichai Kumworachai said in a research note.Banpu has five mines in Indonesia, two in China and two in Thailand and also holds stakes in three power plants in China. Revenue was 14.35 billion baht for the quarter, up 66.1 percent from 8.64 billion baht a year earlier.Banpu’s average selling price for coal surged to $80 a tonne in the quarter, up from $60 in the second quarter and $49.40 in the first quarter, tracking benchmark coal prices. Analysts expected an average selling price this year of $70 a tonne.Banpu’s foreign exchange gain was 209.8 million baht for the quarter, turning round from a 55.2 million baht loss a year earlier, and it booked 239.14 million baht in dividends, which analysts said came from its 15 percent stake in Ratchaburi Electricity RATC.BK.Shares in Banpu, valued at $1.7 billion on the Thai bourse, closed up 3.8 percent at 220 baht on Friday, when the broader market index .SETI climbed 0.19 percent.The stock dropped more than 44 percent in the July-September quarter, underperforming a 22 percent fall in the SET index. ($1= 34.92 Baht) (Editing by xAlan Raybould)

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