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Petropavlovsk Gains After Profit Rises on Higher Gold Prices

Petropavlovsk Plc, a miner of gold in Russia, was one of only two stocks to advance on the FTSE 350 Mining Index today after reporting a 10-fold increase in profit.

Petropavlovsk climbed 1 pence, or 0.2 percent, to 621 pence at the close in London and was the second-best performer in the 25-company mining index. The shares earlier rose as much as 8.1 percent after the company said 2011 net income jumped to $230.9 million from $19.8 million as gold prices and output increased.

“Today’s strong set of numbers should help the company see a return of investor interest” after previous results were “disappointing,” Nomura International Plc said in a note to investors. Net income slumped 86 percent in 2010 after production costs increased.

Gold producers’ profits have been buoyed by near-record prices for bullion as Europe’s sovereign-debt woes and central banks’ money-printing spurred demand for precious metals. Gold for immediate delivery averaged $1,573 an ounce last year, compared with $1,227 a year earlier.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization totaled $597.1 million in 2011, Petropavlovsk said in today’s statement. That beat the $538.9 million average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The London-based company, whose gold output rose 24 percent to 630,100 ounces last year, is targeting production of 680,000 ounces in 2012.

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