Yamana Gold Wednesday reported $344.8 million or 63-cents per share in net earnings for 2008, compared to $157.2 million or 38-cents per share in net earnings for 2007.

Revenues increased due to higher production as a result of the full-year effect from the producing properties acquired in 2007, and higher average realized prices for gold, Yamana said in its financial statement. This was partially offset by negative adjustments driven by a decline in copper prices on sales of concentrate.

Unrealized gains from commodity derivative contracts, which were acquired to mitigate price risk of copper, offset the impact from the decline in copper price on revenues, the company said.

Meanwhile higher production volume in 2008 drove up depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses.

The company noted, Revenues, net earnings and cash flow from operations were impacted by a significant non-recurring pricing adjustment driven by a significant change in copper prices on sales of copper concentrate. Negative pricing adjustments for the fourth quarter were $74.1 million on revenues and $80.7 million on cash flows.

Yamana reported net earnings of $179.4 million or 25-cents per share for the fourth-quarter 2008, up from $47.1 million or 8-cents per share reported during the same quarter of 2007.

In a statement, Yamana CEO Peter Marrone said, We expect to increase production by approximately 35% in 2009 to more than 1.35 million gold equivalent ounces from mines already in production, and our growth is 100% precious metals. ...We have grown ten-fold in terms of production since we began in 2003 and we intend to double that production into 2012.

In 2009, we will continue to focus on our core and principal mines which comprise the majority of our value and also intend to maintain our low cost advantage and maximize our cash position and cash flow, he added.

The company reported total production of 982,897 gold equivalent ounces for 2008. Estimated silver production of 12 million ounces this year is treated as a gold equivalent.