High costs, low output hit miner

Gold Fields, the world's fourth-largest gold producer, reported the halving of its headline earnings per share to 63c for the three months to the end of September from R1,40 a year ago.

Gold Fields, the world's fourth-largest gold producer, reported the halving of its headline earnings per share to 63c for the three months to the end of September from R1,40 a year ago.

On a quarterly basis, headline earnings per share fell 19,2percent from 78c in the three months to the end of June. The group's revenue grew fractionally from R5,113billion in the June quarter to R5,119billion in the September quarter, while net profit was down 19percent at R482,8million.

Gold Fields said attributable gold production was maintained at more than 1million ounces for the quarter although cash costs were up 7percent quarter-on-quarter.

Ian Cockerill, chief executive officer of Gold Fields, said the increase in costs was "unacceptably high".

He said the rising costs were also influenced by the decline in production from both Tarkwa mine in Ghana and St Ives in Australia, but he expected an improved performance from these two mines over the next few quarters.

Production at the South African operations increased from 685,000ounces to 689,000ounces, while attributable production at the international operations decreased from 330,000ounces to 312,000ounces.

Capital expenditure decreased from R2,19billion in the June quarter to R1,96billion in the September quarter.

At the South African operations, capital expenditure reduced from R878million to R740million. - I-Net Bridge

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