February 24, 2012 / 12:52 PM / in 6 years

Eldorado profit surges on strong gold prices

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) reported a more than 50 percent increase in its 2011 earnings from operations on Friday, largely driven by increased bullion sales and higher realized prices.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Eldorado, which is in the process of wrapping up a C$2.5 billion takeover of its smaller rival European Goldfields EGU.TO, said gold sales volumes rose 3 percent and its average realized gold price increased nearly 30 percent to $1,581 an ounce.

That helped propel earnings from its gold mining operations to $610.8 million, up from $400.7 million, a year earlier.

On a net basis, profits attributable to shareholders in the year were $318.7 million or 58 cents a share. That compared with a profit of $221 million or 40 cents, in 2010.

Eldorado, which produced 658,652 ounces of gold in 2011, sees gold output this year ranging between 730,000 and 775,000 ounces.

Reporting By Euan Rocha; Editing by Frank McGurty

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