Earnings up at Optimum Coal

South African miner Optimum Coal Holdings reported a surge in first-half earnings, boosted by higher production and output from the Koornfontein mine it bought last year. Optimum Coal, one of South Africa's largest producers, said outlook for thermal coal remained robust, as global supply was constrained due to severe weather in other regions. Optimum said headline earnings per share for the six months to end-December totalled 139.22 cents (86p), compared with 6.59 cents a year earlier.