Semafo posts US$25.16 million loss in Q4 due to writeoff, lower revenue

MONTREAL – Semafo Inc. (TSX:SMF) was in the red at the end of 2012 as it booked a $60-million non-cash impairment charge on the Samira Hill mine, production costs increased and revenues weakened due to lower gold sales.

The mining company, which reports in U.S. dollars, says net loss attributable to equity shareholders in the three months ended Dec. 31 was US$25.16 million or nine cents per share, reversing net income of $33.28 million or 12 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Adjusted net earnings was $22.3 million or eight cents per share in the fourth quarter, down from $33.2 million or 12 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenues slipped three per cent to $110.31 million as gold production in the quarter weakened and costs increased.

It produced 62,400 ounces versus 64,800 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2011. Average realized selling price increased six per cent to US$1,678 per ounce but total cash cost per ounce sold increased to US$793 from US$677.

Net loss for the full year was $9.06 million or two cents per share. That’s in contrast to net income in 2011 of $122.76 million or 40 cents per share.

The annual results included a $24.3 million loss from the sale of an investment in the first half of 2012.

Semafo, which has gold production and exploration activities in West Africa, said its revenue for the 12-month period was $388.5 million, down from $395.92 million.

Semafo has three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea.

Desormeaux says he is optimistic on the new discovery of high-grade sector at its Mana property.

Semafo shares gained seven cents Thursday to close at $2.68. They were up a further eight cents at $2.76 in afternoon trade Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version wrongly said the fourth quarter loss was due to a loss from the sale of an investment.