- Exploration and development company Ariana Resources reported Monday profits more than halved in the year to the end of December due to a tougher comparison as last year's performance was boosted by several one-off gains.

Profit before tax fell to £0.4m from £12.1m. The firm blamed the reduced profit on a combination of one-off factors that had boosted last year performance, making for a tougher comparison.

The principal reason for the reduced profit this year was the combination of one-off factors last year, the company said, where 'we recorded a gain on the acquisition of Greater Pontides Exploration BV, a gain on the sale of our remaining shares in Zenit and gains on disposal of our Australian lithium interests.'

Performance was also held back as administrative costs increased by nearly £0.4m, the firm said, amid foreign exchange losses and increased wage costs.

'I am pleased to report that since operational start-up, gold production has reached c.15,000 ounces and remains on trend above our feasibility target. Operating costs have been trending typically at less than US$600/oz,' said Michael de Villiers, Chairman.

At 9:04am: [LON:AAU] Ariana Resources PLC share price was 0p at 1.33p

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