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Press release from Marketwire

SEMAFO Reports 2011 Cash Flow from Operations of $172 Million

Fourth Quarter Total Cash Margin of $1,029 per Ounce

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SEMAFO Reports 2011 Cash Flow from Operations of $172 Million09:47 EDT Wednesday, March 14, 2012MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 14, 2012) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF)(OMX:SMF) today reported its financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011. All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise stated. Fourth Quarter HighlightsGold production of 64,800 ounces, an increase of 5% compared to the same period in 2010 Gold sales of $113.9 million, a 32% increase over the same period in 2010 Operating income of $47.4 million, an increase of 48% compared to the same period in 2010 Total cash margin of $1,029 per ounce, an increase of $234 per ounce over the same period in 2010 Net income of $38.2 million, an increase of 36% compared to the same period in 2010 Cash flow from operating activities of $54.3 million or $0.20 per share Production of 49,700 ounces at Mana 2011 HighlightsIn 2011, SEMAFO produced 250,100 ounces of gold for record sales of $395.9 million, compared to gold production of 261,100 ounces and sales of $323.3 million in 2010. Cash flow from operating activities increased to a record $171.9 million compared to $147.5 million in 2010. Highlights for the year ended December 31, 2011 include:Gold production of 250,100 ounces Gold sales of $395.9 million, a 22% increase compared to 2010 Operating income of $154.2 million compared to $124.8 million in 2010 Total cash margin of $909 per ounce, a 26% increase compared to 2010 Net income of $122.8 million, an increase of 19% compared to 2010 Cash flow from operating activities of $171.9 million or $0.63 per share Debt free Continued exploration success at Mana in Burkina Faso: Discovery of the new Yaho gold zone with mineralization strike-length doubled to more than 1.5 kilometers Identification of prospective new targets New Bombouela Nord permit and rights to new Kona II permit Successful completion of Wona underground feasibility study and green-light of the Mana Underground project Signed an agreement with the national electricity company to build a power line connecting the Mana Mine to the National Power Grid Listed SEMAFO's common shares on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm Declaration of inaugural dividend of C$0.02 per share Acknowledged as one of Canada's Ten Most Admired Corporate Cultures Ranked among Canada's Best Employers for a second consecutive year Became a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact A Word from the CEOFor the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2011, SEMAFO achieved record gold sales, operating income, net income and cash flow from operating activities. Our operations teams were instrumental in the realization of another successful year. Once again in 2011, we achieved our guidance objectives. Gold production for the year totalled 250,100 ounces. Our average cash margin was $909 per ounce, an increase of $186 per ounce over 2010. A strong performance at our Mana Mine in the fourth quarter set a new quarterly production record for the property, which has consistently demonstrated continuous growth since the beginning of operations three years ago. The fourth quarter also marked our Samira Hill Mine's best quarterly results of 2011. The year serves as yet another testimony to our strong belief in Mana's long-term potential as we continued to invest in its development. In 2011, we announced a fourth phase of plant expansion aimed at increasing plant capacity to up to 7,200 tonnes per day in bedrock and up to 8,000 tonnes per day in blended ore. We put forward plans for a new production facility in consideration of the positive drill results received from the Fofina, Fobiri and Yaho zones. Detailed evaluations of this new facility are pending the receipt of 2011 drill results in that they will impact the facility's optimal location and size, both elements of which are key to maximizing efficiencies. During the year we also launched the Wona Deep underground project, an undertaking that our teams believe will contribute considerably to the effective development of Mana. We are pleased to say that at the present time the underground development is progressing according to schedule.SEMAFO's long-term strategy of building sustainable value through discovery and development continues to be beneficial for our organization. In 2011, we invested $38.5 million in exploration at Mana. Exploration results have consistently expanded Mana's reserves and resources and continue to emphasize the overall geological potential of the property. Early in the year, geophysical surveys identified new prospective targets. More than 300,000 meters of reverse-circulation, diamond and air core drilling, and approximately 133,000 meters of auger drilling were carried out during the year over priority targets including the Fofina, Fobiri, Yaho, Kona, Wona, Massala and Saoura areas. Several targets discovered within the past 18 months have been extended with drill results suggesting various styles of gold mineralization throughout the area. The strike length of the newly discovered Yaho zone has more than doubled to over 1.5 kilometers and continues to display persistent lateral continuity, while remaining open in all directions. Accordingly, our 2012 initial exploration budget for Mana has been established at $36 million.Our significant cash generation capabilities along with our diligent cash flow management make our organization extremely profitable. During the year we paid down our long-term debt leaving our Corporation debt-free, unhedged and able to fund our value-creation activities internally. Owing to our consistently solid performance and ability to deliver on our promises, on November 8, 2011, SEMAFO's Board of Directors declared an inaugural dividend of C$0.02 per share. In October 2011, our common shares commenced trading through a secondary listing on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm Exchange in Sweden. By doing so, we are providing European investors with the opportunity to take advantage of SEMAFO's unique Savoir-faire and consistently solid operating results.We have a proven, experienced management team that knows how to operate in West Africa. We have a skilled, dedicated and engaged workforce. Our Mana property is rich with potential and we have the resources to maximize its value. We are confident in our future.Our average selling price for the first two months of 2012 was $1,735 per ounce. As we continue to improve, we are accelerating investments in order to develop long-term sustainable value that will ensure great returns for all of our shareholders, employees and host communities in the future.SEMAFO's Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis and other relevant financial materials are available in the Investor Relations section of the Corporation's website at www.semafo.com. These and other corporate reports are also available on the website maintained by the Canadian Securities regulators at www.sedar.com. 2011 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Conference CallSEMAFO will host a conference call to discuss the results, as well as to provide an update on operations.Conference Call:Date:Thursday, March 15, 2012Time:10:00 AM (EDT)Tel. local & overseas:+1 (416) 981-9000Tel. North America:1 (800) 917-9975The conference call will feature Benoit La Salle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Benoit Desormeaux, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Martin Milette, Chief Financial Officer, Michel Crevier, Vice-President Exploration and Mine Geology and SEMAFO's Qualified Person, and Patrick Moryoussef, Vice-President Mining Operations.The conference call will be archived for replay until April 4, 2012. To access the archived conference call, please dial 1 (800) 558-5253 and enter pass code 21581882 followed by the number sign (#).A live audio webcast of the conference can be accessed through SEMAFO's website at www.semafo.com. The webcast will be available for replay for a period of 90 days.Annual and Special Shareholders MeetingSEMAFO's Annual Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) at Le Centre Sheraton Montréal, Salle Drummond, 1201 René-Lévesque Boulevard West, in Montreal, Quebec. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and meet the management team and members of the Board of Directors.Consolidated Results and Mining Operations20112010VariationOperating HighlightsGold ounces produced250,100261,100(4%)Gold ounces sold249,600260,800(4%)(in thousands of dollars, except amounts per ounce, per tonne and per share)Revenues - Gold sales395,916323,27522%Mining operation expenses (excluding government royalties)150,535122,14423%Government royalties19,85712,71256%Operating income154,164124,75024%Income tax expense29,86921,79337%Net income122,759103,23519%Attributable to:Equity shareholders of the Corporation111,759100,45911%Non-controlling interests11,0002,776296%Cash flow from operating activities (1)171,875147,49817%Basic net income per share0.410.388%Diluted net income per share0.400.378%Operating cash flow per share (2)0.630.5613%Average realized selling price (per ounce)1,5861,24028%Cash operating cost (per ounce produced) (3)59146627%Cash operating cost (per tonne processed) (3)35336%Total cash cost (per ounce sold) (4)67751731%Total cash margin (per ounce sold) (5)90972326%(1)Cash flow from operating activities excludes changes in non-cash working capital items.(2)Operating cash flow per share is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A. (3)Cash operating cost is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and is calculated using ounces produced and tonnes processed. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A.(4)Total cash cost is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and represents the mining operation expenses and the government royalties per ounce sold. (5)Total cash margin is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and is calculated using the average realized selling price and the total cash cost. Fourth Quarter Financial and Operating HighlightsThree-month period ended December 31,20112010VariationGold ounces produced64,80061,5005%Gold ounces sold67,20062,1008%(in thousands of dollars, except amounts per ounce, per tonne and per share)Revenues - Gold sales113,85486,39232%Operating income47,44832,16548%Net income38,19628,17636%Attributable to:Equity shareholders of the Corporation33,27726,64725%Non-controlling interests4,9191,529222%Basic net income per share0.120.1020%Diluted net income per share0.120.1020%Cash flow from operating activities (1)54,32537,48345%Operating cash flow per share (2)0.200.1443%Average realized selling price (per ounce)1,6941,39122%Cash operating cost (per ounce produced) (3)5595335%Cash operating cost (per tonne processed) (3)3536(3%)Total cash cost (per ounce sold) (4)66559612%Total cash margin (per ounce sold) (5)1,02979529%(1)Cash flow from operating activities excludes changes in non-cash working capital items. (2)Operating cash flow per share is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A. (3)Cash operating cost is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and is calculated using ounces produced and tonnes processed. See the "Non-IFRS financial performance measures" section of the Corporation's MD&A. (4)Total cash cost is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and represents the mining operation expenses and the government royalties per ounce sold. (5)Total cash margin is a non-IFRS financial performance measure with no standard definition under IFRS and is calculated using the average realized selling price and the total cash cost.Consolidated Statement of Financial Position(Expressed in thousands of US dollars) As at December 31, 2011 $As at December 31, 2010 $As at January 1, 2010 $AssetsCurrent assetsCash and cash equivalents178,713220,43962,481Restricted cash-3,750-Trade and other receivables43,0226,0219,894Investment22,307--Inventories81,63968,95260,300Other current assets5,5175,2384,556Non-current assets331,198304,400137,231Restricted cash1,2266574,407Property, plant and equipment362,187257,413200,375Investment and other non-current assets29,40029,40027,093392,813287,470231,875Total assets724,011591,870369,106LiabilitiesCurrent liabilitiesTrade payables and accrued liabilities59,10036,78933,658Income tax payable15,50921,2315,019Dividend payable5,348--Current portion of long-term debt-14,82418,80879,95772,84457,485Non-current liabilitiesLong-term debt--15,612Advance payable2,1021,9111,737Provisions8,5057,0085,879Deferred income tax liabilities6,9543,3175,485Total liabilities97,51885,08086,198EquityEquity shareholders of the CorporationShare capital454,746452,542329,759Contributed surplus10,9358,0535,998Accumulated other comprehensive income5,6868,4806,360Retained earnings (deficit)138,46732,761(59,209)609,834501,836282,908Non-controlling interests16,6594,954-Total equity626,493506,790282,908Total liabilities and equity724,011591,870369,106Consolidated Statement of IncomeFor the Years Ended December 31, 2011 and 2010(Expressed in thousands of US dollars, except per share amounts)2011 $2010 $Revenues - Gold sales395,916323,275Costs of operationsMining operation expenses170,392134,856Depreciation of property, plant and equipment41,21041,931General and administrative22,22416,820Corporate social responsibility expenses3,3931,393Share-based payment4,5333,525Operating income154,164124,750Other expenses (income)Finance income(439)(136)Finance costs1,7283,781Foreign exchange loss (gain)247(3,923)Income before income taxes152,628125,028Income tax expense (recovery)Current25,85823,776Deferred4,011(1,983)29,86921,793Net income for the year122,759103,235Attributable to:Equity shareholders of the Corporation111,759100,459Non-controlling interests11,0002,776122,759103,235Earnings per shareBasic0.410.38Diluted0.400.37Consolidated Statements of Cash FlowsFor the Years Ended December 31, 2011 and 2010(Expressed in thousands of US dollars)2011 $2010 $(note 28)Cash flows from (used in):Operating activitiesNet income for the year122,759103,235Adjustments for :Depreciation of property, plant and equipment41,21041,931Share-based payment4,5333,525Non-cash finance costs8741,292Unrealized foreign exchange gain(1,512)(502)Deferred income taxes expense (recovery)4,011(1,983)171,875147,498Changes in non-cash working capital items(33,828)12,311138,047159,809Financing activitiesReimbursement of long-term debt(15,000)(20,065)Proceeds on issuance of share capital1,643121,313Share issue expense-(6,311)(13,357)94,937Investing activitiesAdditional investment(25,101)-Acquisitions of property, plant and equipment(145,634)(96,741)Decrease in restricted cash3,181-(167,554)(96,741)Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents1,138(47)Change in cash and cash equivalents during the year(41,726)157,958Cash and cash equivalents - beginning of year220,43962,481Cash and cash equivalents - end of year178,713220,439Interest paid7242,150Interest received439136Income tax paid29,6945,891About SEMAFO SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Corporation currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities.CAUTION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSThis press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "long-term", "potential", "development", "aimed at", "increasing", "believe", "will", "expand", "schedule", "strategy", "committed", "evolve", "become", "pursuing", "growth", "opportunities" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability to increase Mana plant capacity to up to 7,200 tonnes per day in bedrock and up to 8,000 tonnes per day in blended ore, the ability of the Wona Deep underground project to contribute to the effective development of Mana, the ability to build sustainable value through discovery and development, the ability to expand Mana's reserves and resources, the ability to maximize Mana's value, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2011 Annual MD&A and 2011 Annual Information Form and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.The above information has been made public in accordance with the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: CommunicationsSEMAFO: Sofia St LaurentTel. local & overseas: +1 (514) 744 4408North America Toll-Free: 1 (888) 744 4408Email: sstlaurent@semafo.comWebsite: www.semafo.comORBrunswick Group StockholmMaria BangTel: +46 (8) 410 32 189Email: mbang@brunswickgroup.com