Randgold Resources Limited (GOLD: Quote, RRS.L) Monday reported a slightly higher pre-tax profit for the fourth quarter, as costs escalated amid increased sales. The miner said it is still focused on ''reaching our annual production target of plus 1.2 million ounces of gold by 2015.''
Profit before income tax rose to $162.93 million from $161.38 million in the prior year. Profit attributable to equity stockholders slid to $121.56 million from last year's restated $122.28 million.
Quarterly earnings per share were $1.31, down from restated $1.32 in the prior-year quarter.
On average, 3 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $1.32 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Total revenues climbed to $381.6 million from $311.47 million, while costs advanced to $221.86 million from restated $150.01 million.
Production for the quarter increased 13 percent to 214,394 ounces. For the year, production climbed 14 percent to 794,844 ounces.
Randgold said Loulo delivered 503 224 ounces on the back of the accelerated development of its Yalea and Gara underground mines, exceeding its production target for the year. The Morila joint venture also beat its forecast with annual production of 202 513 ounces.
Gold sales for the quarter rose 22.5 percent to 381.6 million ounces and total cash costs were $176.88 million compared to $122.57 million last year. Randgold said the increase in gold sales was due to a 19 percent increase in ounces sold, as well as a 2 percent escalation in the average gold price received quarter on quarter.
Gold sales for the quarter increased 20 percent compared to the previous quarter, reflecting mainly the 15 percent increase in ounces sold quarter on quarter.
Additionally, the board has proposed to increase the annual dividend by 25 percent to 50 cents per share.
Chief executive Mark Bristow said, "It's been a particularly eventful year but the team once again rose to the challenges. Not only did we achieve very creditable results for 2012 but we start 2013 in good shape and with a renewed focus on growing our production and managing our costs...our sights are still set on reaching our annual production target of plus 1.2 million ounces of gold by 2015."
RRS.L settled up 1.9 percent on Friday at 6,085.00 pence.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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