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A worker cleans a freshly produced bar of gold at Centerra's Boroo mine in Mongolia (NIR ELIAS)
A worker cleans a freshly produced bar of gold at Centerra's Boroo mine in Mongolia (NIR ELIAS)

Centerra Gold reports higher profit Add to ...

Centerra Gold Inc. reported a fourth-quarter profit of $153.1-million (U.S.) as revenue held steady compared with a year ago.

The Toronto-based gold miner, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Thursday it earned $153.1-million or 65 cents a share, up from $140-million or 60 cents a year ago.

Revenue totalled $323.3-million, compared with $323.9-million a year earlier.

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The average analyst estimate had been for a profit of 60 cents a share for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

In its outlook, Centerra said it expected to produce 600,000 to 650,000 ounces of gold in 2011 at an average total cash cost of $460 to $495 an ounce.

The company's Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic is expected to produce 550,000 to 600,000 ounces in 2011, while production at its Boroo mine in Mongolia will be about 50,000 ounces.

The forecast assumes no production the company's Gatsuurt project in Mongolia.

"The production profile at Kumtor differs significantly from recent years in that Kumtor is expected to have consistent quarterly production throughout the year," Centerra president and chief executive officer Stephen Lang said in a statement.

"The Mongolian Parliament continues to assess the water and forest legislation enacted in 2009, and we remain optimistic that this issue will ultimately be resolved and Gatsuurt will move forward."

UBS analyst Brian MacArthur said Centerra had a strong fourth quarter, as had been expected.

"We continue to believe Centerra has good exploration upside and the ability to generate strong cash flows, but we also continue to note the higher-than-average political risk in both the Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia," Mr. MacArthur wrote in a note to clients.

Shares in the company were unchanged at $18.47 (Canadian) on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Centerra increased its gold reserves by 1.7 million ounces to 8.2 million ounces of proven and probable open pit reserves and increased the expected life of its Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic.

At Kumtor mine, the company added 1.5 million ounces of gold to reserves, before accounting for 2010 production, helping boost the life of the mine by five years to 2015.

After accounting for processing of approximately 723,000 ounces in 2010, Kumtor's proven and probable mineral reserves totalled 6.3 million ounces at the end of last year.

The 2010 year-end reserves were estimated using a gold price of $1,000 (U.S.) an ounce, compared with $825 an ounce at Dec. 31, 2009.

At the end of the quarter, Centerra's measured and indicated resources had increased by 18 per cent or 739,000 ounces to a total of 4.9 million ounces compared with 4.1 million at the end of 2009.

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