Titanium miner Kenmare Resources has reported sharply higher profits and revenues for the year to the end of December.

Kenmare said its after tax profits soared 162% to $50.9m from $19.4m the previous year.

The company's revenues rose by 26% to $262.2m from $208.3m on the back of increased volumes shipped and higher average received prices.

Kenmare operates the Moma Titanium Minerals Mine in northern Mozambique.

It posted a 3% increase in total shipments of finished products to 1,074,400 tonnes, a new annual record and up from 1,040,400 tonnes in 2017.

Heavy Mineral Concentrate production rose by 4% to 1,370,800 tonnes, while Kenmare also reported ilmenite production of 958,500 tonnes and primary zircon production of 48,400 tonnes.

Michael Carvill, the company's managing director, said that 2018 was Kenmare's third consecutive year of achieving its production guidance and delivering record shipment volumes. 

He said that as well as improved EBITDA, revenues and profits, the company also achieved a significant improvement in its safety performance, with a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate ("LTIFR") of 0.12% per 200,000 man hours worked in 2018, the lowest level to date.

"In terms of our development programme, we made good progress towards our core objective of delivering an approximate 20% increase in our production rate to 1.2 million tonnes per annum of ilmenite by 2021," Mr Carvill said. 

He also said the first of Kenmare's three development projects, the 20% expansion of Wet Concentrator Plant B, was commissioned during the year, more than 25% under budget. 

The second project, WCP C, is well underway and expected to commission in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

The definitive feasibility study for the third project is on track for completion in the first half of this year. he added. 

"Average received prices for our products were higher in 2018 compared to 2017 and we see a positive outlook due to continued demand growth, depletion of existing mines and limited supply from new mines in the coming years," the Kenmare boss said. 

Commenting on today's results, Davy said Kenmare's improved performance looks to be maintained into 2019 and so far, the work on its expansion projects suggests that the group will also deliver these on time and budget over the next two years. 

"Kenmare is in a better place than for some time and we believe that it continues to look very good value," the stockbrokers added.