Coal India Profit Beats Estimates on Higher Demand, Lower Wages

Coal India Ltd., the world’s biggest miner of the fuel, reported a better-than-expected 35 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, aided by increased shipments and a decline in wage costs.

Net income climbed to 54.1 billion rupees ($973 million), or 8.58 rupees a share, in the three months ended March 31 from 40.13 billion rupees, or 6.41 rupees, a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. The median of 34 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was a profit of 49.6 billion rupees. Sales rose 2.5 percent to 199 billion rupees.

Coal India, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the nation’s production of the fuel, plans to boost output this year to bridge the gap between demand and local supplies. The company had a cash reserve of 622.4 billion rupees as of March 31.

Shipments rose to 130 million metric tons in the quarter, while output declined to 143.3 million tons from 144.6 million tons a year earlier, the company said in the statement. Employee expenses dropped 21 percent to 74.7 billion rupees.

Coal India shares gained 1.2 percent to 313.80 rupees at the close of trading in Mumbai. The key S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.7 percent. The earnings were announced after trading ended.

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