StockMarketWire.com - Polymetal International declared an 18% higher interim dividend for its first half of the year, as its underlying earnings rose.

The mining group, with operations in Russia and Kazakhstan, declared a dividend for the six months through June of 20c per share, up from 17c on-year.

Net earnings fell to $153m, down from $175m on-year, mostly impacted by foreign exchange losses on loans.

Underlying net earnings rose 21% to $188m on the back of higher gold production that offset weaker silver output.

The dividend payout represented 50% of the group's underlying net income for the first half, in compliance with a hard ceiling of net debt to adjusted Ebitda ratio below 2.5 times.

Polymetal said it remained on track to meet its 2019 production guidance of 1.55m ounces of gold equivalent.

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