Wescoal said operating expenses were significantly reduced by 21 percent to R104 million during the period. Photo: File.

JOHANNESBURG – Coal miner, trader and supplier Wescoal said on Tuesday its revenue rose 28 percent to R2.1 billion in the half year to September 30, despite challenging market conditions such as rand volatility, a technical recession and policy uncertainty.

Wescoal, which is in advanced negotiations with Ata Resources to join the consortium which intends to acquire the entire issued share capital of Universal Coal, said gross profit was up three percent to R276 million, attributable to the consistent strong operational performance of the mining and trading divisions.

The company disposed of Leeuw Braakfontein and Intibane Collieries as non-core assets in line with strategy and has spent R45 million on capital expenditure with focus on mine development, deferred stripping and maintenance of plant and equipment.

“We are pleased with the operating performance, production and sales from the broader asset base in the first half," chief executive Waheed Sulaiman said.

"The company is solidly on track to meet its production targets and is well positioned for steady sustainable growth.”

Wescoal said operating expenses were significantly reduced by 21 percent to R104 million during the period, as a result of synergies realised from efficiencies and the successful integration of Keaton Energy.

Headline earnings per share were up 16 percent to 23.5 cents per share while total comprehensive income increased by 23 pecent to 108 million.

Wescoal said the improved performance in both mining and trading divisions was an indication of the group’s progress as an effective mid-sized mining company and coal sector consolidator that was well poised for long-term success.

African News Agency (ANA)