Russia's Highland Gold says H1 net profit down 65 percent

MOSCOW Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:52am EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian gold miner Highland Gold (HGM.L) said on Wednesday first-half net profit fell by almost 65 percent year on year to $17 million due to a steep fall in the gold price.

Gold, which has seen its sharpest drop in price in a generation, currently trades around $1,300 an ounce, compared with a record peak of over $1,920 two years ago.

The company, partly owned by oligarch Roman Abramovich, said it would cut its interim dividend by almost 50 percent to 2.5 pence ($0.04) per share.

Revenue was little changed compared with the first half of 2012, at $157 million, Highland Gold said, generating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $63 million, down 11.5 percent year on year.

"The company practices a 'no hedge' policy and metal price fluctuations will continue to affect the Group's profits in the future," Eugene Shvidler, Highland Gold's non-executive chairman, said in a statement.

($1 = 0.6288 British pounds)

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice)