Randgold's profit jumped in the first quarter as it ramped up production

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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Randgold's shares slipped as profit fell from the previous quarter (Source: Getty)

Gold miner Randgold Resources' profit jumped more than 30 per cent in the first quarter, but it fell from the previous quarter.

The figures

Compared with the previous year, gold production increased 10 per cent at 322,470 ounces, pre-tax profit jumped 33 per cent to $119.6bn (£92.6bn) and total cash costs fell by four per cent to $619 per ounce.

However, compared with the previous quarter's record results, gold production was down 15 per cent, profit fell about six per cent and total cash costs increased 13 per cent.

Shares in Randgold were down 1.06 per cent to 6,540p at the time of writing.

Why it's interesting

​Randgold mines gold in Mali, the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The firm said stoppages at its flagship Loulo-Gounkoto complex and its Tongon mine disrupted production and hit costs over the period, which caused them to fall from the previous quarter.

Gold prices are up from the lows of December and January, but they have slipped from last month's high of more than $1,290 per ounce. Prices were down 1.78 per cent, or $22.20, to $1,226.30 per ounce at the time of writing.

Read more: Randgold Resources expects to post record results from its Mali mine

What Randgold said

Chief executive Mark Bristow said the group's overall performance was its best for several years.​

The past quarter's work stoppages, which disrupted our usually stable industrial relations climate, prompted us to take a fresh look at this aspect of our business and we are rolling out a potent internal campaign designed to ensure that the company's distinctive DNA is fully shared by all who work here through fostering an inclusive culture of two-way communication and engagement that takes in all levels in the organisation.

What analysts said

Tyler Broda, analyst at RBC Capital, said:

"A solid quarter from Randgold with little of the seasonality in production that was guided for the start of 2017 (although certainly saw the expected decline after the fourth quarter). Randgold is on track to meet full year guidance and guidance remains unchanged.

"We remain concerned about the ability for Randgold to maintain its premium valuation, especially now that concerns around reflation are starting to embed in the market."

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