RJB ahead by 10% and going for coal

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The Independent Online
RJB MINING, the private coal company floated on the stock market last year, announced pre-tax profits up 10.2 per cent to pounds 12.2m in 1993. It is doubling its production capacity to 4 million tonnes this year following the recent takeover of two British Coal collieries - Clipstone in Nottinghamshire and Rossington in Yorkshire.

RJB Mining is also one of the leading contenders to lease and license the Calverton colliery, also in Nottinghamshire. Richard Budge, chief executive, said he wants to add more mines as they become available through the privatisation of British Coal.

'We have had a very good first year as a quoted company, developing both organically and by seizing acquisition opportunities,' Mr Budge said. 'We are well placed to take advantage of the future opportunities that will arise from the coal bill.' Among the most important changes resulting from the legislation will be the removal of limits on how much a private mining company can produce at certain mines and on how many men it can employ underground at one time.

RJB's turnover last year rose slightly to pounds 74.75m from pounds 73.85m in 1992. Pro forma earnings per share were unchanged at 22.7p and the dividend for the year was 12p, an increase of 4 per cent over the estimated dividend for 1992.

Earlier this year, RJB Mining raised pounds 13.9m through a placing and offer. The funds were largely used to finance the acquisition of Young Group, a coal company based in the northeast of England, and of Monckton Coke and Chemical Company - formerly part of ICI. Mr Budge said Young was making a loss at the time of acquisition but is now trading profitably.

About 60 per cent of RJB's output comes from open-cast mines, but Mr Budge hopes to reduce that to less than 50 per cent with the acquisition of more deep mines. He said he sells to a variety of domestic and industrial customers but has no contracts with the generators, National Power and PowerGen. Monckton exports coke to Norway, and Mr Budge also hopes to win export orders for specialist coals.