March 5, 2012 / 9:29 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-Major Drilling profit up, sees strong demand

* Q3 rev up 69 pct at C$182.2 mln

* Sees strong Q4

* Raises semi-annual div 12.5 pct

March 5 (Reuters) - Canada’s Major Drilling Group International, a metals and minerals contract drilling services company, reported a jump in third-quarter profit on continued demand from gold and copper projects.

The Moncton, New Brunswick-based company also expects a strong fourth quarter, as high prices for precious metals spur drilling and activity in coal and iron ore projects stay robust.

“Intermediate and junior mining companies with advanced projects have ramped up their already busy drilling programs by adding rigs, and most senior mining companies have increased their exploration budgets for 2012,” Chief Executive Francis McGuire said in a statement on Monday.

Major Drilling’s November-January profit rose to C$9.6 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, from C$1.7 million, or 2 Canadian cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue leaped about 69 percent to C$182.2 million.

The company also increased its semi-annual dividend by 12.5 percent to 9 Canadian cents a share.

Its shares closed marginally down at C$18.19 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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