Grande Cache Coal reverses year-ago loss; raises sales volume target

Grande Cache Coal Corp. (TSX:GCE) is back in the black after reporting a 70 per cent revenue jump for all of last year which helped reversed year-ago loss.

CALGARY — Grande Cache Coal Corp. (TSX:GCE) is back in the black after reporting a 70 per cent revenue jump for all of last year which helped reversed year-ago loss.

The Calgary-based company reported Wednesday a profit for every quarter of fiscal 2009 as an increase in coal prices helped offset lower sales volume brought by dwindling demand of steel due to the economic downturn.

The company’s coal is used to fire blast furnaces in steelmaking.

As a result, the metallurgical coal producer booked a full-year revenue of $248.6 million, up from $146.6 million. Included in that is a revenue of $38.7 million during the last quarter ended March 31. That’s slightly lower from prior-year’s $39.9 million.

Grand Cache Coal generated a full-year profit of $106.2 million or $1.15 a share, including $18.9 million or 20 cents a share. That reversed a year-ago loss of $15.5 million or 24 cents a share, including $1.2 million or two cents a share.

Also on Wednesday, the company revised its 2010 sales volume fuelled by increased demand of metallurgical coal, especially in China.

It said its 2010 target sales volume will now be 1.2 million to 1.4 million tonnes.

“While there remains a level of uncertainty in the metallurgical coal market, we continue to believe that demand will stabilize and it appears early signs of this are beginning to occur as coal imports into China have recently increased,” said president and CEO Robert Stan.

The company reported fiscal year coal sales volume of 1.06 million tonnes at an average price of $234 per tonne compared with sales volume of $1.65 million at an average price of $89 per tonne in the previous year.

Grande Cache said the higher coal price was due to “contractual agreements negotiated at the beginning of the fiscal year when there was a high demand for metallurgical coal due to supply constraints and a strong global economy.”

It expects an average sales price for fiscal 2010 to be in the range of US$115 to US$125 per tonne.

Shares of Grande Cache Coal fell 17 cents to C$1.83 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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