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Banpu reports 2005 Operational Performance Net profit up 53 per cent driven by favorable selling price and coal sale volume

Banpu reports 2005 Operational Performance Net profit up 53 per cent driven by favorable selling price and coal sale volume

Banpu Public Company Limited reports its 2005 performance with a net profit of THB 5,565 million, rising by THB 1,920 million or a 53 per cent increase year on year, thanks to appreciation of selling price and coal sales volume. The Company is planning to increase its target coal production to 21 million tonnes in 2006 while at the same time continuing to invest in coal and related power projects offering opportunities for value creation and providing appropriate return.

Mr.Chanin Vongkusolkit, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Banpu Public Company Limited, said that during the fiscal year 2005 (January 1 – December 31, 2005) Banpu had earned THB 25,209 million of sales revenue, an increase of THB 7,982 million or 46 per cent from the previous year. This resulted in a gain on net profit of THB 5,565 million, increasing THB 1,920 million or 53 per cent year on year. Additionally, the 2005 earnings per share were reported at THB 20.48 per share compared to THB 13.42 per share in 2004.

The Company’s sound financial result in 2005 was due to the appreciation of coal sales and selling price supported by healthy demand for thermal coal in several countries. In 2005, Banpu recorded its coal sales volume of 17 million tonnes, compared to 15.6 million tonnes in 2004, a 9 per cent increase from last year. Revenue from coal sales was at THB 25,047 million, accountable for 99 per cent of total sales revenue, comprising of THB 22,621 million of coal sales from Indonesian mines and THB 2,426 million from domestic mines. Another one per cent of the Company’s total sales revenue worth THB 162 million was from industrial minerals. Additionally, average coal selling price in 2005 was USD 35.23 per tonne, rising by 37 per cent from the preceding year.

“Despite decline on spot coal price in second half of 2005, the average selling price for Banpu rose by 37 per cent last year since the majority of shipments was priced in advance. The higher selling prices led to substantial increase in sales revenue, gross profit margin and earnings,” Mr. Chanin elaborated.

As at December 31, 2005, the Company’s total assets was reported at THB 45,088 million, an increase of THB 5,550 million or 14 per cent compared to that of 2004. Meanwhile, liabilities were reported at THB 23,202 million, increasing THB 6,779 million or 41 per cent, compared with last year. Net debt to equity on consolidated balance sheet as at December 31, 2005 increased to 0.34 times, compared with 0.22 times as at December 31, 2004.

For the dividend payment, the Board of Directors resolved in its 2/2005 meeting on February 22, 2006 to pay dividend at THB 4.00 per share for the second-half 2005, deriving from a profit of BOI privileges at the rate of THB 1.90 per share and profit of non-BOI business operation at the rate of THB 2.10 per share respectively. This dividend payment will be presented to the Company’s annual shareholder meeting in March. Total dividend paid for the year 2005 is THB 12.50 compared to THB 5.50 per share in 2004. In the first-half 2005, Banpu paid a dividend at THB 8.50 per share, comprising of THB 3.50 regular dividend and THB 5.00 special dividend.

In 2006, Banpu targets its coal production at 21 million tonnes, 4 million tonnes increase from 2005 since Trubaindo Mine will run its full capacity of 5 million tonnes this year. For power business, the Company continues focusing on investment in coal-fired power plant as well as seeking for further investment opportunities in power business in Indonesia and China where Banpu has recently acquired 4 combined heat and power (CHP) operations in north-eastern of the mainland China. Regarding BLCP power plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and 50 per cent owned by Banpu, the current construction completion is reported at 93 per cent. The first unit of this project is expected to be commissioning and supply power in October 2006 while the second unit is expected to commence its operation in February 2007 with a full capacity of 1,434 MW.

“Going forward, the management will continue to invest in coal and related power projects that offer opportunities for value creation and provide appropriate return,” Mr Chanin concluded.

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