Centamin gold output in Egypt rises, shares up
Reuters and Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 May 2012
Shares of the global gold producer rise after it announces a 9 per cent uptick in production at Egyptian mines in first quarter of 2012

Egypt-focused miner Centamin Plc said quarterly production at its flagship Sukari gold mine rose 9 per cent, sending its shares up as much as 4.5 per cent.

Production at Sukari - the first large-scale modern gold mine in Egypt - rose to 49,071 ounces for the first quarter from 45,204 ounces a year earlier.

Centamin backed its production forecast of 250,000 ounces of gold for the year - 25 per cent above last year's output. This would come at a cash cost of $550 per ounce, the company said in a statement.

"With our commitment to a continued capex and exploration programme, the periods ahead will see sustained growth on many fronts in both Egypt and Ethiopia," said Centamin Chairman Josef El-Raghy.

The company's pretax profit fell to $54.3 million for the quarter ended 31 March from $56.1 million a year ago, offsetting gains from higher average price, which rose nearly 21 per cent to $1,694.

Centamin shares were up about 2 per cent at 62.3 pence in early trade on the London Stock Exchange. They touched a high of 63.75 pence earlier in the session.

In March, the Chairman of Centamin Egypt, Sami El-Raghy, refuted allegations that the company had wasted public funds or had links to figures associated with the ousted Mubarak regime.

It was reported in the same month thatEgypt's Central Auditing Authorityaccused the company of intentionally squandering $127 million in revenue "since it failed to meet its production targets during the period from September 2009 until March 2011."