July 29, 2008 / 10:36 PM / 9 years ago

Higher prices push Silver Wheaton profit up 2 percent

TORONTO (Reuters) - Silver Wheaton SLW.TO said on Tuesday that profit climbed 2 percent in the second quarter, as higher realized metal prices offset sales volumes that were lower than planned.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company, which buys silver produced at various mines and resells it at market prices, said it earned $23.3 million, or 9 cents a diluted share, in the three months ended June 30.

That compared with a profit of $22.9 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier.

In the latest period, the company sold 2.9 million ounces of silver at an average price of $17.35 an ounce. The number of ounces sold was 13 percent lower than planned, primarily because of continued mining of lower-grade ore at Goldcorp’s G.TO Luismin mine in Mexico, Silver Wheaton said in its quarterly report.

A year earlier, the company sold 3.1 million ounces of silver at $13.58 an ounce.

“This past quarter, we negotiated more silver stream agreements than any other quarter in our history,” Peter Barnes, the company’s president and chief executive, said in a news release.

“With eight silver agreements completed and another soon to be, we have diversified our portfolio and expanded our relationships within the industry,” Barnes said.

He also noted that Goldcorp’s Penasquito mine in Mexico, a key asset for the silver company, delivered its first shipment of silver in June.

Silver Wheaton has agreed to acquire 25 percent of the silver produced from Penasquito.

Overall, the silver company expects annual sales of between 13 million and 15 million ounces in 2008.

Reporting by Lynne Olver; editing by Rob Wilson

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