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UK Coal to split operations as top execs depart

Restructuring follows big pre-tax losses in the first half of this year.

Britain's largest mining company, UK Coal, has announced plans to split its mining and property businesses to enable the operations to focus on their "distinct value-creation strategies".

Meanwhile, the company also reported that its chief executive, Jon Lloyd, and chairman, David Jones, would be leaving.

UK Coal's mining director, Gareth Williams, will be managing director of the mining concern, while a non-executive director, Owen Michaelson will head the new property division. They will report to a new executive chairman who will replace Jones, and is yet to be named.

CEO Lloyd will step down at the time of the restructuring, which is likely to happen in August.

The company has seen a 50 per cent drop in value in the last six months, and its shares have declined 92 per cent since Lloyd took over as chief executive in September 2007.

It plans to capitalise on its property business, which has "demonstrated substantial value", even as it expects a pre-tax loss of £94m ($146m) in the first six months of 2010, as compared to £81.5m a year ago.