TORONTO – Iamgold Corp. (TX:IMG) has become the latest gold producer to report a big net loss and, like the others, primarily as a result of a big writedown on assets in the wake of lower gold prices.
The Toronto-based miner with operations in Africa and the Americas says its net loss attributable to equity holders was US$840.3 million or $2.23 per share in the three months ended Dec. 31.
That compared with a fourth-quarter net profit of US$84.6 million or 22 cents per share in the same 2012 period as the company took a US$772.8- million after-tax impairment charge on goodwill and mining assets.
Total attributable proven and probable gold reserves were reduced 10.1 million ounces at the end of 2013, compared with 11.3 million ounces at the end of 2012.
The company also cited a higher cost of sales, a higher share of net losses from joint ventures, impairment of investments and lower gains on the sale of marketable securities for the loss.
Those were partially offset by lower income taxes and lower exploration expenses.
Revenue in the period plummeted 38 per cent to US$247.2 million from $398.6 million, due mainly to lower gold sales volume and a lower average realized gold price.
For the full year, the net loss attributable to equity holders was US$832.5 million or $2.21 per share compared with net earnings of $334.7 million or 89 cents per share in 2012.
Revenue fell to $1.147 billion from $1.453 billion.
President and CEO Steve Letwin said the company realized in early 2013 that the gold environment was deteriorating and took several “critically important” steps to lessen the effect on its business and — excluding writedowns — remained profitable.
Among other things, the company announced an immediate end to its dividend in December.
Ex-items, Iamgold showed a profit of US$19.7 million or five cents per share for the quarter, with adjusted earnings of $137.3 million or 36 cents per share for the year.
That compared with adjusted earnings of US$89.9 million or 24 cents per share in the same 2012 quarter and $$315.6 million or 84 cents for 2012 as a whole.