Fresnillo share price falls despite it making cost cuts amid commodity price rout

Jessica Morris
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(FILES) Gold bullion is displayed at Shi
Gold production jumped nearly 30 per cent in 2015 (Source: Getty)

Fresnillo shares slumped 3.8 per cent to 962p per share this afternoon, after making gains in recent weeks.

The figures

Fresnillo's revenue rose 2.2 per cent to $1.44bn (£1bn) in the year ended December 31st, from $1.41bn a year earlier. This came as Fresnillo ramped up production and made productivity improvements, which helped offset some of the damage from tumbling precious metal prices.

Gold production soared 27.8 per cent to 762 koz during this period, while silver production rose 4.4 per cent to a record 47m koz on higher production at its Saucito II mine in Mexico. Meanwhile, cost per tonne fell at four of our five operating mines.

However, gross profit fell 16.9 per cent to $433.1m during this period, from $521m in 2014. The Mexican precious metals miner attributed this to tax charges as a result of the Mexican peso's depreciation vis-a-vis the dollar.

Similarly, Fresnillo said that its budget will be $600m in 2016, and it will continued to be monitored in accordance with market conditions.

Why it's interesting

Mining companies have had to contend with tough trading conditions with precious metals prices falling to historic lows. ​Fresnillo said its average realised gold price shed 10.4 per cent last year, while silver fell 16.1 per cent.

The biggest firms have been using their economies of scale to boost production in order to defend their market share. Today's results show that this has paid off for Fresnillo which squeezed out revenue growth despite tumbling commodity prices.

Nevertheless, Fresnillo was forced to capital expenditure and exploration spend from budgeted levels last year, and will have to reduce these budgets for 2016, deferring certain investments.

What Fresnillo said

"While we see long-term fundamental support for precious metals, we do not expect significant shifts in the factors driving current volatility, nor does there appear to be a clear catalyst that would support a return to higher prices," Fresnillo said.

"Fresnillo remains well positioned to weather such volatility, with sufficient financial and operating flexibility."

"Our long-term strategic goals are unchanged: to profitably and sustainably maintain the group's position as the world's largest primary silver company and a leading gold producer in Mexico."

In short

Increased production helped revenues inched up, however Fresnillo is battening down for the storm with further cost cuts.

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