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March 18 (Reuters) - Huaneng Power International Inc , China's largest listed electricity utility, has posted a 79.3 percent rise in net profits, thanks to lower coal prices reducing fuel costs.
Net profit rose to 10.5 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) last year from 5.9 billion yuan in 2012, Huaneng said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange on Tuesday.
"We expect power demand to continue to increase steadily in the near future due to stable economic growth. Coal prices are unlikely to fluctuate by too much given the ample supply," it said in the announcement.
"However, the company faces challenges in thermal power operations given that the government is pushing ahead with policies to promote clean and green energy."
Huaneng plans to boost clean energy generation to cope with government's anti-pollution drive, which is taking aim at cutting coal consumption.
While China's power companies have benefited from a slump in coal prices, coal producers have suffered from the supply glut.
On Tuesday, China Coal, the country's second-largest coal producer, reported a 57 percent drop in net profits in 2013 as coal market remained sluggish.
Net profit at China Coal Energy Co Ltd fell to 3.8 billion yuan from 5.03 billion a year earlier, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Huaneng and China Coal reported results after the Hong Kong and China markets closed. Huaneng's Hong Kong shares closed up 6.7 percent at HK$6.98, outperforming the Hang Seng index's 0.5 percent rise. Its Shanghai shares ended 3.21 percent higher.
China Coal's Hong Kong shares closed up 0.51 percent while its Shanghai shares finished up 0.47 percent. ($1 = 6.1781 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Meg Shen in Hong Kong and Bangalore newsroom; Editing by Greg Mahlich)