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Czech miner NWR’s Q2 net jumps fivefold - extended

Czech coal mining group New World Resources said net profit rose fivefold in the Q2 to €69.7 million ($103.1 million) on increased coal prices.

The Dutch-registered company, which operates the Czech Republic’s biggest mines, posted a net profit of €69.7 million, while analysts polled by Reuters expected nearly double that amount. Revenue surged 57% to 324 million koruna.

The numbers weighed on NWR shares, pulling them lower by as much as 4.2% in early trade. By 0847 GMT, the stock was down 3.6% at 477.40 Czech koruna, valuing Prague’s fourth-largest listed company at $7.8 billion. “Overall costs were high due to one-off personnel costs linked with the company’s IPO plus the fast appreciating koruna also hit the operating level,” said Jan Tomanik, an analyst at Wood&Co. brokerage.

NWR sold a 36.2% stake for £1.3 billion ($2.4 billion) in May in the biggest initial public offering on the London exchange so far this year. NWR, also listed in Prague and Warsaw, soared as much as 40% after its IPO on rising coal prices and a slew of upbeat brokerage notes. But the stock has retreated by a quarter from its mid-June highs.

Coking coal generates two thirds of NWR’s business, and prices in that segment rose by around half in the Q2, according to analysts’ estimates. “We said we’ll maintain volumes which we did,” NWR executive chairman Mike Salamon said in a phone interview. “Prices were pretty much along the lines that we anticipated, and our expectation is that we’ll continue to see a very significant growth there, so I would say that the results were reasonable,” he told Reuters.

NWR’s results are not fully comparable year-on-year since the firm hived off some smaller, non-core assets before its share offering. “We expect market conditions in the H2 of 2008 to continues to be favorable and believe we are well-placed to build on our first-half performance,” Salamon said.

The coal miner said it concluded agreements for semi-annual coke contracts which will enable it to raise prices by 21% compared with those contracted for the H1 of 2008. NWR owns the Czech Republic’s biggest hard coal miner OKD. It is investing €600-800 million to reopen the Debiensko mine in Poland, with estimated reserves of 190 million tons.

The group also signed a deal last year with Polish state-owned mining group Jastrzebska Spoka Weglowa to develop mines along the Czech-Polish border. The company proposed a dividend of €0.28 per share, setting a dividend payment day for Oct. 23 and the record date for Sept 19. (Reuters)