• Gold has advanced 25 percent this year, boosting revenue
  • World No. 3 producer bought back bonds, saving on interest

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. said it returned to profit in the first half as the world’s third-biggest producer of the metal benefited from higher bullion prices and weaker currencies in the countries it operates in.

Headline earnings were in a range of $87 million to $99 million in the six months ended June 30 from a loss of $128 million a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Friday.

Gold, a haven in times of economic turmoil, has soared 25 percent this year as the U.S. dialed back expectations for increasing interest rates, growth slowed in China and the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union injected fresh uncertainty into global markets. That’s helped AngloGold’s revenue, as did first-half weakness in the currencies of South Africa, Brazil, Australia and Argentina, countries where the company has mines.

Earnings were also boosted by a “continued focus on cost control across the portfolio,” and a $33 million saving on interest payments after the company bought back bonds that paid investors 8.5 percent.

The shares, which have almost tripled this year, climbed 2.7 percent to 302.97 rand at 9:10 a.m. in Johannesburg.

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