Revenue at Saskatchewan-based uranium miner Cameco falls more than 25 per cent

SASKATOON – Cameco Corp. (TSX:CCO) says it earned a profit in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago as revenue fell more than 25 per cent.

The uranium miner said it earned $78 million or 20 cents per share compared with a loss of $9 million or two cents per share in the same quarter last year.

The improvement was due to gains on foreign exchange derivatives compared with losses a year ago and higher gross profits in its fuel services business.

Revenue fell to $408 million from $566 million.

On an adjusted basis, Cameco said it lost $7 million or two cents per share for the quarter compared with an adjusted profit of $69 million or 18 cents per share a year ago.

Cameco said the drop was mainly due to lower gross profit from its uranium and Nukem businesses, higher administration expenditures and increased higher foreign exchange losses.

“Although we believe there is a bright long-term future for nuclear power, we continued to experience challenging market conditions in the uranium space during the first quarter,” Cameco chief executive Tim Gitzel said in a statement.

“Our results were influenced by a very quiet market with little contracting activity. While net earnings were up over the first quarter of 2015, after adjustments we reported a net loss, which is not considered indicative of our annual expectations.”

Earlier this month, Cameco announced that it was suspending work at its Rabbit Lake uranium operation in northern Saskatchewan due to an oversupply of uranium around the world.

The company said 500 jobs will be lost at the non-union mine and about 85 at its U.S. operations, including employees and long-term contractors.

About 150 people will be kept on at Rabbit Lake to maintain the facilities and do environmental monitoring and reclamation.

Rabbit Lake has produced more than 91 million kilograms of uranium concentrates since production began in 1975.