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Coal India fourth-quarter profit plunges 52 percent on higher expenses

Locals carry coal from an open cast coal field at Dhanbad district in the eastern state of Jharkhand, India, September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood/File Photo

(Reuters) - Coal India Ltd posted a 52 percent plunge in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, hurt by higher expenses.

Profit was 12.95 billion rupees ($190.55 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with 27.19 billion rupees a year earlier, the coal miner said. The government has a 79 percent sake in the company.

Coal production rose to 183.45 million tonnes from 176.37 million tonnes a year earlier.

Total expenses jumped 24 pct to 277.57 billion rupees.

($1 = 67.9600 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara and Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)