Falling metal prices drive down Highland Gold first-half profits

HIGHLAND Gold, the Russian gold producer part-owned by oligarch Roman Abramovich, yesterday said first-half net profit fell by almost 65 per cent year-on-year to $17m (£10.6m) due to a steep fall in the gold price.

Gold, which has seen its price plummet over 15 per cent this year, currently trades around $1,300 an ounce, compared with a record peak of over $1,920 two years ago.

The miner said it would cut its interim dividend by almost 50 per cent to 2.5p per share.

Revenue was little changed compared with the first half of 2012, at $157m, Highland Gold said, generating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $63m, down 11.5 per cent year-on-year.

“The company practices a ‘no hedge’ policy and metal price fluctuations will continue to affect the group’s profits in the future,” Eugene Shvidler, Highland Gold’s non-executive chairman, said in a statement.

Highland Gold’s shares closed down 1.7 per cent at 74p.