Rothschild’s Bumi posts a pre-tax loss in first results since takeover

MINING group Bumi, founded last year by billionaire financier Nat Rothschild as acquisition vehicle Vallar, posted a pre-tax loss of $243m in its maiden results, but said production for the year was on track.

Indonesia-focused Bumi said it expected to produce 86m tonnes of coal this year, up from 77m, when posting its first interim results since the thermal coal producer listed under its new name in June -- giving Indonesia’s politically connected Bakrie family a foothold in London.

Bumi said thermal coal prices should remain strong over the short and medium term on higher demand from Asia and Europe.

“India in particular is expected to increase its level of thermal coal imports over the next few years with a major planned increase in electricity capacity addition,” it said.

About 90 per cent of coal sales by value were exported, while a 33 per cent increase in coal prices outweighed higher production costs.

Bumi reported net debt of $393m and cash of $467m, in what analysts said was a solid set of results.

Rothschild joined forces with the Bakrie Group last year as Vallar bet heavily on Indonesia, the world’s largest thermal coal exporter. It took a 25 per cent stake in coal miner Bumi Resources, Asia’s biggest thermal coal exporter, and a 75 per cent stake in Berau Coal Energy.

The group expects to enter the FTSE All-Share index on 19 September.