Newcrest First-Half Profit Slides 88% on Gold Price Drop, Tax

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM), Australia’s biggest gold producer, said first-half net income fell 88 percent after bullion dropped and an increased tax payment.

Net income was A$40 million ($35.9 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31, from A$323 million a year earlier, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement. Underlying profit fell to A$207 million, beating the A$149 million average estimate of four analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. reduced their fourth-quarter operating costs as global producers adapt to the biggest fall in gold prices in three decades. Newcrest, which booked a record loss in fiscal 2013 on a A$6.2 billion writedown, said it won’t pay a first-half dividend.

“Our focus remains on optimizing our current operations, maintaining our growth options and maximizing free cash flow,” Chief Executive Officer Greg Robinson, who will step down before December, said today in the statement.

Newcrest was little changed at A$11.28 at 10:19 p.m. in Sydney. It jumped 45 percent this year as gold had climbed 8 percent on turmoil in emerging markets and signs of waning improvement in the U.S. job market.

Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,302.55 an once at 9:26 a.m. in Sydney.

Newcrest’s gold reserves were cut to 78 million ounces of gold at Dec. 31 from 87.3 million ounces a year earlier after a review to take into account lower metal prices and foreign exchange movement, it said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Stringer in Melbourne at dstringer3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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