Centamin shares drop as the gold miner's production declines and profit falls

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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(FILES) Gold bars is displayed at Shinha
The gold miner's production fell in line with expectations (Source: Getty)

Gold miner Centamin's shares dropped more than five per cent after the company said pre-tax profit fell around 30 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.

The figures

For the period ended 31 March, Centamin's profit before tax fell to $29.5m (£22.9m) from $40.9m in the first quarter of 2016.

The miner produced 109,187 ounces of gold in the quarter, 13 per cent lower than the previous year but in line with the company's forecast.

Full year guidance was maintained at 540,000 ounces with $580 per ounce cash cost of production and $790 per ounce all-in sustaining costs.

The FTSE 250 firm's share price was down 5.10 per cent at 164.65p in morning trading.

Read more: Centamin on track to achieve gold standard year

Why it's interesting

Production fell at the company's Sukari mine due to a 20 per cent reduction in the average processed grade, but grades from the open pit are expected to increase towards the reserve average from the second quarter.

The company said a decrease in gold sales volumes hit revenue in the first quarter, but sales were marginally offset by a two per cent rise in realised gold prices.

Centamin has a very healthy balance sheet with current assets exceeding both current and total liabilities, according to Yuen Low, analyst at Shore Capital.

What Centamin said

Chief executive Andrew Pardey said: "As forecast, production rates decreased in the first quarter mainly driven by a planned reduction in average grade from the open pit."

During the second quarter, we expect to see open pit ore grades increase towards the reserve average as the cutback in the east wall of the pit is further progressed. With the processing and underground mining operations also continuing to deliver strong levels of productivity, we remain on course to meet our full year 2017 production guidance.

Read more: This London-listed gold miner has suspended its shares

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