Polyus, the largest gold producer in Russia, grew its revenue by 11% to $2,721 million, driven by increased sales volumes. Gold sales increased by 13% year-on-year to 2,158 thousand ounces, reflecting higher gold production. Total gold sales include 170 thousand ounces of gold contained in concentrate from Olimpiada. Group total cash costs decreased to $364 per ounce from $389 per ounce in the previous year. The 13% rouble appreciation was offset by strong operational results and efficiency improvement initiatives. The all-in sustaining cash cost (AISC) increased to $621 per ounce, up 9% compared to the previous year reflecting mainly higher stripping expenses. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 11% year-on-year to $1,702 million, driven by higher gold sales volumes and lower TCC. Profit for the year decreased to $1,241 million partially reflecting the impact of a foreign exchange gain in the previous year, as well as finance costs. Cash and cash equivalents as at 31 December 2017 amounted to $1,204 million, compared to $1,740 million as at 31 December 2016, following the early prepayment of credit facilities and dividend payments for the second half of 2016 and the first half of 2017. Net debt decreased to $3,077 million at the end of 2017 compared to $3,241 million as at the end of 2016. Total gold output increased by 10% year-on-year to 2,160 thousand ounces. Volumes of ore mined rose by 27% year-on-year to 37,810 thousand tons. Volumes of ore processed increased by 8% year-on-year to 28,663 thousand tons, with higher volumes of ore treated at the company's core assets as a result of the ongoing execution of expansion projects. Pavel Grachev, chief executive officer of PJSC Polyus, said: "We expect a 2018 production of 2,375 - 2,425 thousand ounces, and in the second half of the year we anticipate Natalka to be fully ramped up. We will also continue with debottlenecking initiatives at our existing operations that have already strongly contributed to our operational results during the last several years."
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