JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africa's third-largest bullion producer Harmony Gold on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss, despite a 14% increase in production.
The JSE-listed miner posted a headline loss per share of 20c, compared with earnings of 234c a share in the third quarter ended in March.
The miner attributed the R87-million headline loss to year-end deferred tax adjustments and increased exploration expenditure.
The higher June-quarter production, which rose to 320 351 oz from 281 415 oz in the previous quarter, was driven by higher tonnage and improved grade.
Harmony boosted its operating profit by 24% quarter-on-quarter to R1.4-billion. Its cash operating cost a unit improved by 5% quarter-on-quarter, to R279 719/kg.
Turning to its full-year performance, Harmony stated that headline earnings more than doubled year-on-year, from R957-million in 2011 to R2.4-billion this year. Headline earnings per share jumped to 551c a share from 223c a share in the year ended June 2011.
A net profit of R2.6-billion was generated for the year, which represented a four-fold increase on the R617-million profit recorded in 2011.
However, gold production dipped 2% to 1.27-million ounces, from 1.3-million ounces in the previous financial year.
Operating profit increased by 80% to R5.9-billion in 2012, compared with the R3.3-billion operating profit generated in the previous financial year.
Cash operating cost per kilogramme of gold produced increased by 20% in the 12-month period to R270 918/kg, while cash operating costs in dollar terms only increased by 8% at $1 085/oz as a function of the weakening of the rand/dollar exchange rate, Harmony said.
"The Harmony of today is a very different one to that of yesteryear. We have established a platform of excellence and leadership in many areas, strategic planning and determined effort,” CEO Graham Briggs said.
A final dividend of 50c was declared.