Coal India recommends Rs3.50 per share interim dividend

State-run Coal India Ltd (CIL), which got listed last year, will pay an interim dividend of Rs3.50 per share for the current financial year against the final dividend of the same amount paid last fiscal.

Announcing this at a press conference, chairman PS Bhattacharya said CIL has earned a post-tax profit of Rs2,626 crore during the third quarter ended 31 December 2010, taking the profit for the nine months ended December 2010 to Rs6,646.40 crore.

CIL had posted a post-tax profit of Rs9,622.45 crore for the whole of 2009-10. The company is looking at increasing its earnings and profits, with higher realisations through e-auction, which is now fetching nearly 80 per cent against the notified price.

According to Bhattacharya, coal production was impacted by various environmental issues and would likely work out to around 440 million tonnes as against 460 million tonnes targeted originally.

"It may be around that figure and will translate to a growth of around 2 per cent this fiscal," he said, adding that the low production growth had also contributed to the fall in the company's net margin.
 
The increasing demand-supply gap would be made up through long-term coal offtake contracts that the company was looking to strike into with overseas companies, he said.

Speaking on the environmental issues that had hit production plans, Bhattacharya said that while the stipulation on no-go areas as regards providing environmental clearances for mining in forest areas had affected production for long, the index of pollution called Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) introduced last year affected the expansion plans in nine coal fields. These were located in the 88 industrial clusters identified as critically-polluted.