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Highland Gold Mining report 134% profit rise

Highland Gold Mining Ltd reported a first-half shares rising by 134%

Highland Gold Mining Ltd (HGM.LN), a Russian miner partly owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, reported a first-half shares rising by 134%, fuelled by higher output and strong prices.

HGM.LN swung to a first-half net profit of $22.2 million from a net loss of $2.8 million in the same period of last year on soaring gold prices.

The gold miner said revenue from its gold operations for the six months to June 30 increased by 77% against the same period in 2007 to $73.7 million on sales of 81,036 ounces. Total revenue reached $76.5 million, up from $43.4 million in the first half of last year. The average realized gold sales price was $909 per ounce, a rise of 39% from the price in the same period a year ago.

The firm said earnings from continuing operations for the first six months of the year rose to $0.068 a share from $0.029 in the same period last year.

Duncan Baxter, non-executive chairman, said the company had benefited "from the efficiency measures taken in 2007 to improve production."

The company said in its statement that it is prioritizing productive projects because of the volatility of the markets and "intensive funding requirements" of development projects.

Highland was on the lookout for takeovers since it had $308.7 million in cash and short-term deposits at the end of June, it said in a statement.