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GOLD Fields said headline share earnings would be as much as 325% improved for its 2020 financial year which featured a strong production finish in the fourth quarter in which output totalled 593,000 ounces (Q3: 557,000 oz).
Commenting in a trading statement today, the group said earnings of between 81 and 85 US cents would be reported for the 12 months ended December 31, some 305% and 325% higher than the 20 US cents achieved in the 2019 financial year.
Basic share earnings would be 80 to 84 US cents a share, a year-on-year increase of between 300% and 320%, it said. The company is due to report its fourth quarter and full-year numbers on February 18.
The improved numbers were owing to "slightly higher" production and higher prices and despite the group’s hedging policy in which a portion of total gold was sold in contracts at average prices less than could be achieved from the spot market.
The results presentation will be Nick Holland’s last as CEO of Gold Fields, a position he has held down for 13 years in which he steered the group away from its historic South African production base to assets towards mines in Australia, Ghana, and South America.
Attributable gold production for 2020 would total 2.24 million ounces which are within revised guidance of 2,2 to 2.25 million oz. Original guidance of 2.28 to 2.32 million oz was revised in May to account for the impact of Covid-19 on the operations, mainly at South Deep in South Africa and Cerro Corona in Peru.
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) for the year are expected to be $977/oz. This compares to $897/oz last year, but within the revised guidance range for AISC between $960/oz and $980/oz, the group said.