Gold miner Highland Gold Mining saw a rise in both profits and revenues in its most recent trading year after the firm's total production exceeded guidance range.
Revenues rose 4% to $316.7m compared on the previous year thanks to a pretax profit of $100.3m, which dwarfed the previous year's registered figure of $66.2m, in what appears to have been a highly successful year for the AIM-listed company.
Highland's revenue boost was driven by increased gold production, which achieved a record rate of 261,159 ounces, a 4.3% increase on 2016, and a rise in realised gold prices, which saw prices jump to $1,162 per ounce from the $1,136 per ounce in seen across 2016.
In further good news the company reduced its operating expenses by 35% to $10.8m and finance costs by 48% to $2.7m which offset a $1.8m rise in administrative fees, while net debt was reduced to $198m from $205m over the course of the year.
Eugene Shvidler, executive chairman of Highland Gold Mining, said, “Unlocking value came of age during 2017 when the results of extensive exploration activity and a series of updated estimates from our producing mines, Blagodatnoye, and Kekura, our flagship development project, culminated in a 56% increase in the company's proven and probable ore reserves.”
In light of the success, Highland Gold Mining declared a second interim dividend of 5.42 pence per share, lifting the total dividend payout to 10.40p.
For the current year, the company projected its total production to come in between 265,000 and 275,000 ounces but noted that it remains to be seen whether this will, once again, be an underestimate.
As of 1616 BST, Highland Gold Mining's shares were up 3.45% at 143.80p.