LONDON -- Centamin (LSE:CEY) this morning released its audited annual results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, revealing record EBITDA of $233.3 million, up 10% on 2011.
Full-year production at the Egypt-focused gold-miner was up 30% on the previous year, with the final figure of 262,828 ounces above the guidance of 250,000 ounces. Basic earnings per shares rose 2% to $0.1827, while Centamin has continued to reap the benefits of the high gold price as it remains debt-free and unhedged with cash, bullion on hand, gold sales receivable, and available-for-sale financial assets of $219.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2012.
Centamin's Sukari gold mine -- now in its third year of production -- has been pivotal to Centamin's fortunes in recent months and had a rollercoaster effect on the share price. First, operations were suspended due to a lack of diesel supplies and the halting of sales by "unforeseen and arbitrary" red tape, which caused a 61% crash in the share price in a single day. The price recovered 25% the following day as the fuel supply resumed and a further 25% a few days later as customs lifted its halt on gold exports from Sukari.
Management "remains confident that a satisfactory outcome will ultimately be achieved" over two separate court cases relating to Sukari. The first concerns a decision by the Egyptian General Petroleum Company to charge international prices, rather than local (subsidized) prices, for the supply of diesel fuel oil. The second involves a judgment by an Egyptian administrative court in relation to the validity of Centamin's 160-square-mile exploitation lease -- though normal operations are able to continue during this process.
Having shed 4.7% of its value as of 10:05 a.m. EDT today, at 54 pence Centamin's share price has yet to regain all of its value prior to the plunge, and whether the potential for recovery makes Centamin a buy remains your decision.
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