Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) recorded double-digit growth in net profit for 2009 due to a sharp rise in uranium oxide sales.

The move shows the future prospects for uranium mining are positive, according to ERA, because of a strong market along with government and public interest in nuclear power as an important element in the energy mix.

ERA’s net profit for the year ended 31 December 2009 increased by 23% to A$272.6m ($244.9m) compared to A$222m ($199.5m) in 2008.

ERA’s uranium oxide sales revenue increased by 55% to A$767.8m ($689.9m) in 2009 compared to A$495.6m ($445.3m) in 2008.

In 2009, production of uranium oxide was 5,240t, which was consistent with 2008’s levels of 5,339t due to positive performance in the processing plant throughout the year.

It is expected that the company’s 2010 sales figure are likely to be similar to 2009 returns, with lower grades, mine sequencing and scheduled maintenance in the processing plant affecting first-half profits for the second half of the year.