Centamin reported gold production for 2017 above guidance but pre-tax profits fell amid rising costs and falling sales compared to the previous year. Centamin's gold production from its Sukari mine in Egypt totalled 544,658 ounces in 2017, beating guidance of 540,000 ounces but pre-tax profit fell 16% to $224.1m compared to the previous year. Pre-tax profit fell despite a 0.4% increase in gold prices to US$1,261/oz as costs rose and sales fell. Cash cost of production rose to US$554 an ounce from $513 an ounce, all-in sustaining cost rose to $790 an ounce from $694 an ounce, while gold sold in 2017 fell to 539,726 ounces from 546,630 ounces in the previous year. The group reported record annual throughput from the processing plant of 12.0Mt, a 4% increase YoY, while open pit total material movement was 70.9Mt, a 14% improvement YoY. For 2018 , the group expects to gold production to rise 6.5% to 580,000 ounces, with the mine plan forecasting a relatively balanced quarterly production profile over the year, while cash cost of production is forecast at US$555 per ounce and all-in-sustaining cost at US$770 per ounce. Josef El-Raghy, Chairman of Centamin, said: 'The Sukari Gold Mine produced 544,658 ounces of gold in 2017, at a cash cost of production of US$554/oz and all-in sustaining cost of US$790/oz at an average realised gold price of US$1,261/oz, generating US$676 million in revenue, US$326 million in EBITDA and US$224 million in pre-tax profits.' 'Commercially in operation for eight years, Sukari has maintained cash costs in the lowest quartile in the industry, averaging US$614/oz since commercial production commenced in 2010.' 'Following a strong operational and financial performance throughout the year, the board of directors is delighted to propose a final dividend for 2017 of 10 US cents per share, for approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 26 March 2018.' 'This represents a proposed full year dividend of 12.5 US cents per share, totalling a full year pay-out of US$144 million, which is equivalent to approximately 100% of our free cash flow in 2017.'
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