UK Coal up 13% after swinging into profit

UK Coal (LON:UKC) turned a £124.6 million loss in 2010 into a pre-tax profit of £58 million last year as production and revenue jumped.

The United Kingdom's number one coal miner saw income jump to £488.2 million from £351.2 million. Overall production improved by 300,000 tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes.

By the close in London, UK coal was trading up 13% at £0.15, near its highest for the day on heavy volumes. The mining sector was generally positive on Friday with the TSX S&P Global Mining index up 0.7%

The stock is still showing losses for 2012 – it is down 47% year to date giving it a market value of £44.9 million.

The strong performance is good news for the British coal mining industry as a whole.

Earlier this month ThisisMoney reported “the very survival of Britain’s coal mining industry depends on the success of a massive restructuring of UK Coal":

UK Coal, when it was operating as RJB Mining, acquired the bulk of British Coal when it was privatised in 1994. More than £1billion has been poured into the company since, but its survival has always been problematic as coal has become more difficult to mine and competing fuels such as oil and gas have grown more competitive.

The fall in jobs and production has been dramatic. In the Twenties, the industry employed 1.2 million workers, with annual production of well over 300million tons. This compares with 7,000 jobs now and production of 7.5million tons.