Fresnillo First-Half Profit Slumps 44% After Sliver Price Slides

Fresnillo Plc, the world’s biggest primary silver producer, reported a 44 percent drop in first-half profit after the price of the precious metal declined.

Profit fell to $76.4 million from $137.1 million a year earlier, the Mexico City-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Sales rose 11 percent to $752.3 million as silver and gold output increased.

Silver producers are under pressure as the precious metal heads for a third straight annual decline amid dollar gains and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates, which are reducing demand for alternative investments as an inflation hedge.

Fresnillo, which is targeting annual production of 45 million to 47 million ounces this year, said the start of mining at its San Julian project would be delayed to early 2016 from its previous forecast of the end of 2015.

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