Polymetal shrugs off drop in silver value as revenues rise

PROFITS at Russian metal miner Polymetal fell by two per cent in the first half of this year, as it battled declining silver prices.

The gold and silver miner, which joined the FTSE 100 last year, posted profit in the first half of $149m (£94m), hurt by a $60m foreign exchange loss thanks to fluctuations in the US dollar exchange rate.

Rvenue in the six months to 30 June increased by 41 per cent to $767m, flattered by a 23 per cent increase in the amount of gold sold and a 14 per cent increase in the gold price.

Chief executive Vitaly Nesis said yesterday that the strong financial performance of Polymetal was flattered by “excellent production results”.

He said that key growth projects – Omolon and Albazino-Amursk in Russia – have “started to pay off” and made a “meaningful contribution” to the first-half results. He added that the results were further helped by the depreciation of the Russian ruble.

Polymetal forecasts a stronger performance in the second half, and yesterday said that it was on track to deliver more than 1m ounces of gold equivalent production for the full year. A decrease in spending is also expected as the lag between metal produced and metal sold falls.

It also announced a maiden dividend of 20 cents a share.

The shares closed up 0.10 per cent at 977.5p yesterday.