May 7, 2008 / 9:24 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Higher prices, sales boost Yamana Gold profit

(Adds details on gold production, costs. In U.S. dollars)

TORONTO, May 7 (Reuters) - Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) said on Wednesday that its first-quarter profit nearly tripled on higher prices and sales of gold, copper concentrate and silver.

Yamana, which acquired Meridian Gold and Northern Orion Resources last year for $4.8 billion, said its adjusted earnings were $134.7 million, or 20 cents a share, up from $47.3 million, or 13 cents, in the year-before period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a profit of 15 cents a share before exceptional items.

Net income was $63.1 million, up from $27.4 million, the company said.

Revenues at the Toronto-based miner more than doubled to a record $356 million from $145.1 million a year earlier. Mine operating costs jumped by a similar magnitude to $195.2 million from $76.4 million.

Quarterly production was 237,495 gold equivalent ounces, while realized prices jumped to $927 an ounce from $645.

For the second quarter, the company said production is expected to be between 265,000 and 280,000 gold equivalent ounces, and is expected to increase each quarter for the balance of the year.

Most of the increase will be from the El Penon mine in Chile, and the Chapada and Jacobina mines in Brazil, it said. At El Penon, planned production remains on track to reach an annualized level of 500,000 gold equivalent ounces by the end of 2008.

Yamana has said it expects to produce between 1.2 million and 1.3 million gold equivalent ounces this year, rising to 2.2 million by 2012.

Yamana has seven operating mines and five in development. (Reporting by Lynne Olver and Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)

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