Centamin Reveals Record Quarterly Earnings

LONDON -- The latest share-price recovery has started at Centamin  (LSE: CEY  ) , as the miner released positive results for the quarter ending 31 March this morning, sending the shares up over 3% in early trade.

Pre-tax profit increased to $71.89 million for the first quarter, up from $50.81 million at the same period last year, while revenue increased to $138.2 million from $87.7 million last year.

Basic earnings per share before exceptional charges came in at 6.60 cents for Q1 2013, a whopping 66% increase on the prior-year period, and a 6% rise on Q4 2012, leading to record quarterly earnings.

At 87,016 ounces, gold production also hit new heights in the first quarter, increasing 77% against Q1 2012 and a respectable 2% on the previous quarter.

Centamin chairman Josef El-Raghy commented: "We remain on track in 2013 for a further increase in annual production of over 20% from 2012, as we expect to meet our unchanged full year production guidance of 320,000 ounces at US$700 per ounce cash operating cost."

Centamin remains debt-free and counted "available-for-sale financial assets" of $188.7 million as of March 31, 2013. 

However, it's still bound by the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt's impending decision on whether to revoke the exploitation lease for the Sukari gold mine in Egypt, which caused Centamin to temporarily suspend its operations in December 2012. 

As such, the share price is trading at a premium, having hit a peak of 197 pence before the Egyptian troubles erupted. The first hearing is due on June 19, 2013, with the shares likely to remain beaten-down until any such decision is reached.

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