Randgold Resources unveils fall in quarterly profits

Randgold Resources reported a fall in first-quarter profits following a decline in sales, production and price of gold.

Randgold Resources reported a fall in first-quarter profits following a decline in sales, production and price of gold.

Profit for the first three months of the year came to $81.6m, down from the previous quarter's $143m and last year's $104m.

The FTSE 100 company posted gold sales of $309m, up from the prior year's $271m but a drop on the preceding quarter's $381m reflecting a decline in group production as a result of lower grades and recoveries from the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in the west of Mali.

Group production decreased to 199m ounces (oz) from 214oz in the last quarter, compared to 165m oz a year earlier.

Randgold was hit by falling gold prices which decreased by 4.0% on the previous quarter to $1,638/oz.

The group said it reacted promptly to the recent drop in gold price and has reviewed all its operations and projects, with a focus on managing cashflows.

Capital expenditure and working capital tied up in stockpiles have each been reduced by about $20m, including operational costs cuts at Loulo-Gounkoto. It has resulted in a small reduction in grade and a fall in anticipated production for the year from 590,000 to 560,000 oz.

Elsewhere, the company's Tongon mine in Cte d'Ivoire boosted gold production by 15% driven by stabilised power supply and increased throughput and efficiencies, while the Morila joint venture beat its production and cost targets.

Development of the Kibali gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo continued to progress rapidly towards its goal of first gold production before the end of this year

Chief Executive Mark Bristow said notwithstanding the revised plan at Loulo-Gounkoto, the company's forecast annual production and cash costs remained within its previous guidance. The plan was based on realistic assumptions of $1,000/oz gold price.

"While Randgold remains strongly placed to sustain its profitability under any realistically conceivable gold price scenario, we have nevertheless reviewed each operation's plans in the light of the recent drop in the price, making adjustments where necessary to ensure we manage our cashflow given this year's large capital spend," he said.

"At Kibali, the rescheduled capital expenditure will reduce the peak funding requirement without materially affecting the production profile or putting cash flow generation at risk.

"In the meantime, the Loulo-Gounkoto complex is getting back to planned grade, recovery and production levels, Tongon continues to improve and the recently approved pit pushback project at Morila, which will extend that operation's life by two years, is scheduled to start this quarter."

RD

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