Highland Earnings Soar 134 %

LONDON -- Highland Gold Mining, partly owned by Roman Abramovich, posted a 134 percent jump in first-half earnings per share Thursday, fueled by higher output and strong prices.

The firm said earnings from continuing operations for the first six months of the year rose to 6.8 cents per share from 2.9 cents in the same period last year.

Highland was on the lookout for takeovers since it had $308.7 million in cash and short-term deposits at the end of June, it said in a statement.

"The board will examine all aspects of the business to focus on the best way to exploit the company's strong net cash position," chairman Duncan Baxter said.

The strong results were because of an 18 percent rise in output to 68,813 ounces and a 39 percent jump in the price at which the gold was sold to $909 per ounce.