Western Areas has announced a $56.5 million increase in its interim net profit, as the Western Australia-based nickel miner ramps up exploration to pre-GFC levels.
Western Areas has announced a $56.5 million increase in its interim net profit, as the nickel miner ramps up exploration to pre-GFC levels.
Revenue was up to $230.9 million, from $85.5 million in the previous corresponding period, backed by a 16 per cent increase in production guidance.
Western Areas said it expected mine production to be higher than planned for the March 2011 quarter, but lower than the December quarter due to substantial development work at both its Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll mines.
Western Areas' interim net profit after tax was $67.2 million, up from $10.7 million in the first half of financial year 2009/10.
The company also reported a 10 cent per share interim dividend and cash levels of $167.7 million, which has been earmarked for exploration, bond repayments, and working capital.
"The record results for the first half of the financial year demonstrated the high quality of the company's assets and the hard work from all people involved at Western Areas," Western Areas managing director Julian Hanna said in a statement released to the ASX.
"We have substantial drilling programs underway or planned at our main nickel deposits of Flying Fox, Spotted Quoll, and at the proposed Diggers South mine, with the target to push mine life out past ten years.
"We also have a major exploration campaign underway at our regional nickel projects in Western Australia. Encouraging results are being received from a number of areas and these will be announced later in the March quarter."
At 9:15AM today, Western Areas shares were up 4.4 per cent, trading at $6.54.