Coalfield Resources aiming to focus on property investments

COALFIELD Resources yesterday revealed that it planned to focus on developing its portfolio of former coalfield land, as it published half-year results.

The company has also announced a £5m rights issue, in order to repay a loan and provide extra working capital.

Coalfield Resources was, until December last year, the parent company of UK Coal. In one of the most complex restructurings in UK corporate history, Coalfield Resources, previously known as UK Coal plc, split its operating businesses into two separate units – property and mining.

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It gifted 75 per cent of the property business to the trustees of the mining business pension fund.

At the same time, it relinquished control of the coal mining operations to an employee benefit trust, retaining only a minority equity stake.

Coalfield Resources effectively became a property company through its 24.9 per cent shareholding in Harworth Estates Property Group.

The portfolio is largely made up of former coalfield land for development.

Since the December restructuring, a costly fire struck the mining business’s Daw Mill Colliery in north Warwickshire, which was subsequently closed down.

Coalfield Resources no longer has any equity interest in the UK Coal mining business after it underwent a further restructuring.

In the half-year ended June 29, Coalfield Resource’s operating loss was £196,000, compared with a first half 2012 profit of £361,000.

Jonson Cox, the chairman, said yesterday: “With the recently announced rights issue enabling us to repay debt, Coalfield Resources is in a position to move forward and concentrate on developing the value of its investment in the Harworth Estates Group.”

The company said that Harworth Estates Group “continues to perform well”.

Harworth Estates plans to carry out an external valuation of its property portfolio in December.