In the year to 31 December 2013 your Company achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £3.0 million (2012: £4.7 million).

As we stated in the Interim Report, the year started well for your Company with a strong performance in the first six months at Black Wattle, our South African coal mining subsidiary. However, as we reported in the Interim Management Statement, in the final quarter of 2013 our open cast mining operations at Black Wattle were severely impacted when one of our main production pits ran into unrecorded old underground workings. The prompt action taken by your management ensured that the mine recovered quickly from this incident, but the production lost from this area had to be made up by increased production from one of our higher cost pits. Inevitably, this has had an adverse impact on profitability. We expect the mine to return to acceptable levels of profitability in the second half of 2014 when we return to full production from our lower cost pits.


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