“Better than average production” in Q3 FY2013: CEO
25 April 2013
Johannesburg, South Africa. 25 April, 2013. DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD; JSE, NYSE: DRD) has reported “better than average”, gold production in the quarter ended 31 March 2013, says CEO Niël Pretorius.
“As the new Crown/Ergo pipeline continues to settle, increasingly we are starting to understand Ergo’s current Brakpan carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit in our quest to achieve steady-state performance,” Pretorius says.
Headline earnings per share (HEPS) in Q3 FY2013 were 17% higher at 14 South African cents compared with Q3 FY2012, on the back of a 16% increase in gold revenue to R531.0 million that flowed both from a 3% increase in gold production to 35 976oz and a higher average Rand gold price received of R474 482/kg.
After accounting for net operating costs of R360.3 million, operating profit was 5% higher at R170.7 million.
Free cash flow was up 16% to R85.7 million.
Gold production for the first nine months of FY2013 was 7% higher at 110 822oz compared with the first nine months of FY2012. Together with a higher Rand gold price received of R466 506/kg, this delivered a 20% rise in gold revenue to R1 638.4 million. Cash operating costs were well contained to US$1 091/oz – a 1% increase – and operating profit was 15% higher at R583.1 million, yielding a 51% increase in HEPS to 59 South African cents.
Pretorius says that, as the company moves into the commissioning phase of the new flotation/fine-grind circuit at Ergo’s Brakpan plant, “we are cautiously optimistic about the project’s ability to deliver into targeted operating and financial performance”.
Meantime, as capital commitments come to an end, there is a need to remain focused on maximising the operating and financial capabilities of the Brakpan plant’s CIL circuit, a key element of which is improved productivity, both at operational and individual employee level, Pretorius says.
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Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, among others, adverse changes or uncertainties in general economic conditions in the markets we serve, a drop in the gold price, a sustained strengthening of the Rand against the Dollar, regulatory developments adverse to DRDGOLD or difficulties in maintaining necessary licenses or other governmental approvals, changes in DRDGOLD’s competitive position, changes in business strategy, any major disruption in production at key facilities or adverse changes in foreign exchange rates and various other factors. These risks include, without limitation, those described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” included in our annual report for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2012, which we filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 26 October 2012 on Form 20-F. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date thereof. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this report or to the occurrence of unanticipated events. Any forward-looking statement included in this report have not been reviewed and reported on by DRDGOLD’s auditors.