Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources has lifted its revenue in the first half of the year, despite sales dropping by more than a third.
Iluka collected $662.8 million in the six months to June 30 from its sales of mineral sands, up 16.2 per cent from $570.2 million for the same period last year.
High prices and strong margins have kept revenues rising, with the company reducing production of its chief earners zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile to deal with lower demand conditions.
The company reduced production of the three products by 23 per cent to 444,000 thousand tonnes in the first six months of 2012, and by four per cent to 217,000 thousand tonnes in the three months to June 30 compared to the previous quarter.
Iluka surprised the market earlier this week with a sharp sales downgrade for the year, saying it expected to sell between 510,000 and 720,000 tonnes of zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile in calendar 2012, compared to its May estimate of 935,000 tonnes.
More than $1.1 billion, or a quarter of the company's market value, was wiped off its share price following the news.
Thursday's quarterly production report showed a 35.1 per cent fall in sales of those three items to 273,900 tonnes.
Revenue of $2.26 million per tonne sold, compared to $709,000 in cash costs represented a 68.5 per cent margin compared to 50 per cent for the same period last year.
The company is blaming many different factors for the sales downturn, all representing a sluggish global economy.
A weak Chinese property market had hit sales of zircon, which is needed for ceramics products used in the country's construction and manufacturing sector.
Demand in Europe for rutile, used in titanium dioxide to provide pigments for paints, plastics and paper, has come to a standstill.
Mineral sands broadly are used in paints, electronics, nuclear reactors and deodorants along with the decorative ceramics industry.
Iluka's shares had fallen 30 cents, or 3.24 per cent to 8.97 by 1150 AEST.