Gold demand and price surge put shine on Petropavlosvk 1H 2011 bottom line

British listed Russian gold producer, Petropavlovsk, has reported a 1H 2011 net profit of $108.2 million under IAS.

The net result compares with the 1H 2010 net loss of $55.4 million, with 1H 2011 underlying EBITDA climbing 290% year on year to $186.2 million, as group revenues soared 143% year on year to $475.1 million.

Petropavlosvsk say the results reflect a 73% year on year jump in gold sales volumes to more than 268 thousand ounces, coupled with a 26% increase in average realized gold prices to $1,455oz for the half year.

An ebullient Petropavlosvsk Chairman, Peter Hambro said the strong results would underpin financing for future expansion plans.

“We have delivered record half-year Group revenues of US$475 million with underlying EBITDA increasing to US$186 million thanks to a 73% increase in gold sold together with the higher US$ gold price.These earnings, represent an increase of almost 290% compared to the same period last year. Our strong balance sheet together with the strong gold price environment give us confidence in our ability to finance the future expansion of our precious metals projects.”

Hambro added that the focus on production meant that Petropavlovsk’s operational outlook for the year was strong.

“Cash costs of gold on a per tonne basis and operating efficiencies remain a fundamental focus of the management team. Following a number of measures implemented at the start of this year, coupled with the processing of higher volumes and higher grades scheduled for the second half of 2011, we expect our total cash costs per ounce in the second half of the year to be in line with the first half or to improve slightly.

I am especially pleased to report that the Group’s performance from 1 July to 15 August 2011 was strong at all of the Group’s mines, delivering production levels which are in line with the Group’s internal estimates. The key highlights have been the achievement of higher mined grades at Malomir as planned and an increase in the mine’s plant capacity by c.33% compared to the first half of the year, significantly improving Malomir’s performance.

Our strong operational performance to date during 2011 means that we remain firmly on track to produce 600,000oz of gold, the target we gave at the start of the year.”

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