Yanzhou Coal Mining Company will seek acquisition opportunities in the second half, after reporting a 53.9 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to 1.88 billion yuan for the first six months. Chairman Wang Xin revealed the company's intention to expand by acquisition in its interim results announcement yesterday. 'It is expected that the overall domestic and export coal prices will maintain stable,' Mr Wang said. 'The group's profitability will be enhanced through two operating strategies with the focus on the progress of acquisitions. The group is confident in the performance in 2005, to achieve favourable operating results for shareholders.' Yanzhou Coal is engaged in underground coal mining in Shandong province for sale to electric power plants in China and East Asia. The company is listed in Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai. The company's growth was driven by a 35.9 per cent year-on-year increase in net sales to 6.05 billion yuan, resulting from strong market demand that boosted the price of coal by 57 per cent in the first half to 358.08 yuan per tonne. The price increase, however, was partly offset by a 12.6 per cent year-on-year drop in the company's sales volume from a year earlier, including a 9 per cent decrease in domestic sales and a 23.3 per cent decline in export sales. The company last Friday obtained approval from shareholders to acquire a 95.67 per cent equity interest in Heze Neng Hua for a consideration of 584 million yuan. Upon completing the acquisition, the group will speed up construction of its Heze Zhaolou mine in Shangdong Province to increase the volume of coal production. The group will also speed up production at the Austar Coal Mine in Australia and progress with the construction of coal mine projects in Shaanxi Province. It will enhance management of existing mines to enhance profitability. Earnings per share were 38 fen, a 43.4 per cent increase.