AngloGold Swings to Profit as Production Beats Company Guidance

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s fourth-biggest gold producer, swung to a profit in the first quarter as production beat the company’s guidance and costs fell.

Adjusted headline earnings were $35 million in the three months to March 31, compared with a loss of $117 million in the previous quarter, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement published on its website Sunday.

Production was 969,000 ounces, beating the company’s guidance of between 900,000 ounces and 940,000 ounces, while all-in sustaining costs dropped 9 percent to $926 an ounce.

“We’ve continued to focus on delivering real operational efficiencies and tight cost management, while ensuring we benefit from weaker producer currencies and lower oil prices,” Chief Executive Officer Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said.

AngloGold, squeezed by gold’s 29 percent drop since the start of 2013, has been cutting costs while increasing production from two new mines, Tropicana in Australia and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company has put mines in Mali and the U.S. up for sale as it seeks to reduce its $3 billion of net debt by about a third over the medium term. Venkatakrishnan, who cut costs by 13 percent last year, said he’ll only sell assets for “full value.”

AngloGold said Sunday it has received binding offers for both 50 percent joint ventures and 100% purchase of its Cripple Creek & Victor mine in the U.S.

The company also maintained its full-year guidance for production, costs and capital expenditure.

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