Goldcorp Inc. said Thursday that record gold production levels at two mines in Ontario and Mexico helped it deliver a half-billion dollar profit in the fourth quarter and positioned it well for the coming year.
The Vancouver-based gold miner, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported earnings attributable to shareholders of $504-million, or 47 cents a share. That's up from $405-million, or 39 cents per share a year earlier.
But on an adjusted basis, which removes one-time items, earnings slid to $465-million from $531-million.
Adjusted earnings were 57 cents per share, beating analyst expectations of 54 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.
"Excellent quarterly performances at our two largest mines resulted in a strong finish to 2012 and position Goldcorp for a much improved 2013," said president and CEO Chuck Jeannes in a release.
"Another key priority in 2013 is the timely advancement of our three gold growth projects currently under construction that are expected to drive forecast 70 per cent production growth in the next five years."
Revenues declined to $1.44-billion from $1.52-billion.
Gold sales in the quarter totalled 645,100 ounces down from 685,000 a year ago. Production amounted to 700,400 ounces compared with 687,900 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Production at the company's Red Lake mine in Ontario grew to 168,000 ounces from 154,000.
Gold and silver production at Penasquito mine totalled 112,900 ounces and 5.2 million ounces respectively in the fourth quarter as the company moved into a lower-grade phase of the pit. That compared with 82,300 ounces of gold and 4.87 million ounces of silver a year ago.
Full-year earnings attributable to shareholders fell to $1.75-billion from $1.88-billion. Revenues increased to $5.44-billion from $5.36-billion.
Last month, the company raised its monthly dividend by 11 per cent to five cents per share. It also raised its 2013 production forecasts by about 10 per cent to a range of 2.55 million to 2.8 million ounces. Costs were expected to come in between $525 to $575 per ounce of gold.
The company, which has several projects in development and set to come into production over the next couple of years, has said it expects to be producing 4.2 million ounces of gold per year by 2016.
Goldcorp is Canada's second-largest gold company, with operations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.