The Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Corporation (Vinacomin)'s turnover was 26 trillion VND (1.23 billion USD) in the first quarter of this year, while its profit was 550 billion VND (26.1 million USD).

Nguyen Van Bien, Vinaconmin's deputy general director, announced at a recent press meeting in Hanoi that of the total revenue, turnover from coal mining was 13.3 trillion VND (633 million USD), from electricity production 3.2 trillion VND (152 million USD), and from mineral production 1.52 trillion VND (73 million USD).

The slow recovery of the world economy has resulted in decreasing coal consumption and sale prices, Bien said, adding that the group, however, would strive to meet financial balance and State budget collection while ensuring employees' welfare.

Figures from Vinacomin showed that coal output in the three-month period was 9.7 million tonnes, a reduction of 8 percent compared with the same period last year and an achievement of only 26 percent of the year's target.

Coal consumption was estimated at 9.35 million tonnes, including 2.5 million tonnes for export and 6.8 million tonnes for domestic purposes, accounting for three-fourths of the total because of low export prices. The company had targeted to export 8 million tonnes of coal this year out of a total of 35 million tonnes.

The coal inventory at the end of the quarter was 7.6 million tonnes.

Alumina output in the period was 113,000 tonnes, while several minerals had an increase in output year-on-year of 104–142 percent. Electricity production and consumption reached 2,600 million kWh, representing a five percent increase compared with the same period last year.

The group ensured jobs for 126,000 labourers with an average income of 7.7 million VND each per month.

However, Vinacomin's investment in the first quarter was low at 2.45 trillion VND (116 million USD), showing a 17 percent year-on-year decrease.

Bien said Vinacomin has taken drastic measures to implement the restructure plan approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to focus on core businesses.

The group has dissolved so far this year nine one-member limited companies involved in coal production to merge them with its branches to stabilise their operations.

It also equitised two out of eight approved units and will move the remaining six units to joint stock firms from the beginning of next year.

It has targeted to complete the equitisation of all the eight units this year.

Vinacomin has also reduced its capital ownership in non-core businesses to less than 36 percent and has divested from non-core businesses such as banking, financial investment, and infrastructure.

The total investment in non-core businesses was 500 billion VND (23 million USD) in five units including SHB Bank, SHS Securities Company, Sai Gon-Hanoi Fund Management Company, and Hai Ha Industrial Zone in northeastern Quang Ninh province.

He claimed the group has been waiting for favourable opportunities to divest all capital from SHB and SHS and ensure the availability of capital after the withdrawal.

Vinacomin has targeted to meet 50–52 percent of the whole year's plans in the first half of the year. Coal consumption will be 9–10 million tonnes: 1.5–2 million tonnes for exports and 7.5–8 million tonnes for domestic consumption.-VNA