Bumi meets 2012 production targets as sales rise 30 per cent

Bumi plc said coal sales and production grew during the fourth quarter in the wake of company infighting with co-founder Nat Rothschild.

Bumi plc said coal sales and production grew during the fourth quarter in the wake of company infighting with co-founder Nat Rothschild.

Sales were up 30% to 6.5m tonnes and output grew 15% to 5.9m tonnes over the last three months of 2012 at Indonesian business PT Berau Coal Energy, in which Bumi owns an 85% stake.

The results during the period helped the company meet its full-year production target of 21m tonnes.

Realised thermal coal prices dropped 31% in the quarter compared to the previous year, which the company said it marginally offset by cutting its production cost of sales by 19% to $36.1 per tonne.

"We will continue to relentlessly cut costs across the group," Chief Executive Nick von Schirnding said in a statement.

"I'm very pleased with our performance for the fourth quarter. Through revisions in the mine plan and a focus on costs we achieved an impressive reduction in strip ratios and costs as well as a marked increase in production and sales against both the previous quarter and the same period last year."

He said he expects strong performance to continue this year as the company cuts costs across the group including initiatives to reduce fuel usage and to change the long-term structure of the business.

The results come amid feuding between the company's founders Nat Rothschild and Indonesia's Bakrie family.

In the latest spat, Bumi plc accused Rothschild of misleading shareholders in his bid to take control of the company's board.

The coal mining firm slammed a letter Rothschild issued to shareholders outlining his strategy for the company, as the entrepreneur continues to bang heads with members of the board.

The company is set to hold a meeting on February 21st to vote on Rothschild's proposal to replace 12 of the 14 Bumi plc directors.

Bumi plc has advised shareholders against Rothschild's latest recommendation, stressing the need to separate the company from the Bakrie Group and Bumi Resources, in which it holds a 29% stake.

Shares were up 0.10% to 385.5p at 8:43 Tuesday continuing on from a rising trend during the quarter.

RD

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