Newcrest Profit Rises 23 Percent, 2013 Output Seen Higher

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM), Australia’s largest gold producer, said full-year profit rose 23 percent as prices gained and forecast higher annual production this year.

Net income was A$1.12 billion ($1.18 billion) for the 12 months ended June 30, from A$908 million a year earlier, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement. The result exceeded the A$1.09 billion average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Newcrest aims to raise gold production to a range of 2.3 million ounces to 2.5 million ounces in the current fiscal year from 2.29 million ounces a year earlier, it said today. Spot gold prices gained 6.5 percent in the 12 months ended June 30 as Asian demand rose and central banks boosted purchases.

The output guidance compares with the median forecast of 2.44 million ounces from six analysts ranging from 2.32 million to 2.49 million ounces. The company reiterated today that annual output growth would be in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent for the next five years. Gold producers are expanding mines to boost production to cope with rising costs and benefit from prices poised to increase for a 12th consecutive year.

The cost of sales rose 9 percent to A$2.6 billion in the year, mainly on increased mining activity, higher labor, fuel and energy costs and depreciation charges, Newcrest said today.

Nick Holland, chief executive officer of South African producer Gold Fields Ltd., last month estimated gold mining costs will double in five years as mines get deeper and grades are lower. Higher energy costs and a shortage of skilled workers have also pressured costs, he said.

Newcrest rose 4.4 percent to A$25.40 in Sydney, its highest close since June 7. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Soraya Permatasari in Melbourne at soraya@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net; Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net

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