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Silver Wheaton Corp. almost tripled earnings in the first quarter as the silver miner enjoyed record production and revenues.

The Vancouver-based company said Monday that its first-quarter earnings were $122.2-million (U.S.) or 35 cents per share, a 142-per-cent increase over the $50.6-million 15 cents per share it earned in the same 2010 period.

Revenue increased 84 per cent to a record $158.2-million compared with $85.9-million the previous year.

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Record attributable silver equivalent production of 6.2 million ounces - 6.1 million ounces of silver and 2,900 ounces of gold - was a 10 per cent increase over the comparable period in 2010.

"Record first-quarter production represented a solid start to the year and we are confident that our 2011 production forecast of 27 to 28 million silver equivalent ounces, an increase of 15 per cent over 2010, will be met," president and CEO Randy Smallwood said.

"Though sales lagged production and resulted in an increase of over 700,000 payable silver equivalent ounces produced but not yet delivered by our partners, record earnings and operating cash flows were achieved in this quarter," Mr. Smallwood said.

He said the company expects increased silver deliveries throughout 2011 to make up for the sales shortfall.

"In the current environment of strong silver prices, our shareholders should benefit from increased earnings and cash flows in future quarters from these deferred silver deliveries," he said.

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