Polyus Gold, Russia's top gold producer, reported a first half net profit of $206.8 million in the first half of 2011, nearly double year-on-year, due to a rise in the price and demand for the precious metal.

Sales at Polyus, controlled by businessmen Mikhail Prokhorov and Suleiman Kerimov, rose by 48 percent to $901.8 million. Polyus said earlier it expected revenue of $909 million.

A Reuters poll showed that Polyus was expected to post a net profit of $209 million on revenues of $934 million.

Polyus posted its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at $398.6 million, up 61 percent year-on-year, above an analyst estimate of $392 million.

Gold has soared to record highs this year due to its traditional role as a safe haven in turbulent markets.