Richard Budge, chief executive, said RJB could use its 18 per cent stake in Australia's CIM Resources to increase its presence in the region. Pre-tax profits fell from pounds 171m to pounds 50m as coal sales declined by 17 per cent to 26 million tonnes. The payout was cut from 20p to 7p.
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RJB, Britain's biggest coal producer, yesterday slashed its dividend and outlined plans to expand into Asia-Pacific. Profits were down 70 per cent last year as coal sales to the electricity industry dropped sharply and prices fell.