BEIJING (AP) — China Shenhua Energy Co., the country's biggest coal producer, says its first-half profit rose 17 percent on strong sales despite a weakening economy.

China Shenhua said it earned 26.7 billion yuan ($4.2 billion), or 1.34 yuan (21 U.S. cents) per share, in the six months ending June 30, up from 22.8 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) a year earlier. Revenue rose 20 percent to 121.5 billion yuan ($19.3 billion).

Shenhua's strong results came despite a slowdown in China's rapid economic expansion that saw growth fall to a three-year low in the second quarter.