March 19, 2018 / 9:50 PM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Australian coal firm New Hope Corp's H1 profit more than doubles

(Removes reference to steel-making commodity in sixth paragraph)

March 20 (Reuters) - New Hope Corp on Tuesday announced first half profits had more than doubled, helped by rising coal prices that have bolstered the earnings of local miners.

The coal producer’s underlying profit rose to A$115.6 mln for the half-year ended Jan. 31 from A$54.9 million a year earlier.

The Ipswich-based company also reported a 36 percent rise in its revenue for the period, as burgeoning sales volume boosted its top-line.

Demand for high quality Australian coal remains strong in Asia, underpinned by the construction of modern, efficient coal fired power stations, Managing Director Shane Stephan said.

Australian thermal coal exports from Newcastle port averaged $100 a tonne in the during the period, up from $85 a year earlier, and are currently trading at $94.95 a tonne.

Regional coal miners have benefited from the rise in price of thermal coal, with Whitehaven Coal posting a 63 percent surge in first-half net profit, while Yancoal Australia Ltd swung to a full-year profit. (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alison Williams)

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