Rising coal prices give Alpha Natural Resources a boost

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Net income for Abingdon-based Alpha Natural Resources tripled in the first quarter because of higher demand and prices for coal.

The coal company’s net income for the first quarter of 2008 was $25.5 million compared with $8.3 million during the same period last year. Revenues were also up 20 percent to $516 million.

International demand for coal has increased as coal supplies have been limited in Eastern Europe and Australia because of production and logistical issues, according to the company. In addition, because of the increased demand for steel worldwide, prices for metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel, have risen as well.

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