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December 18, 2008

Indonesia’s coal giant sees sales, output up in 2009

Indonesia's biggest coal miner, PT Bumi Resources Tbk, expects sales and production volumes to rise 10 percent in 2009, Reuters quoted a company official as saying Wednesday.

Bumi is the prize asset in the diversified Bakrie Group, which has been struggling to raise money in order to repay about $1.2 billion of debt at a time when investors have been pulling out of emerging markets such as Indonesia amid global financial downturn and credit crunch.

"I think we would be looking at figures which should be a 10 percent increase in sales volume and 10 percent increase in production volume," Bumi's corporate secretary Dileep Srivastava told a news conference on Wednesday.

He said the firm estimated it would produce 55 million tonnes of coal and achieve 52-53 million tonnes sales volume by the end of this year.

Shares in Bumi ended down 4.21 percent at 910 rupiah on Wednesday, compared with a 1.57 percent increase in the broader composite index .JKSE.

Fears about the Bakrie group's debts, coupled with the bursting of the commodity bubble and global market sell-off, knocked Bumi's share price down from an all-time high of 8,750 rupiah to a 2008 low of 640 rupiah in November, or less than one-tenth of the peak value.

Bumi controls two major coal mines, PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutmin Indonesia, located in Indonesia's resource-rich East Kalimantan province.

The firm reported earlier this month a 39 percent drop in nine-month net profit to $490.15 million from a year ago, when earnings were helped by a one-off gain.

Sales revenue for the period climbed 47.9 percent to $2.43 billion, due to strong coal prices in early 2008.

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