Higher ore prices helped mining firm CNMC Goldmine Holdings bounce back into the black in the fourth quarter.
Net profit at the Catalist-listed company came in at US$1.29 million (S$1.7 million) in the three months to Dec 31, reversing the US$1.94 million net loss in the same period a year earlier.
This rebound came amid below-average production at its flagship Sokor gold mine in Malaysia's Kelantan state, where production has been affected since late 2016 by lower ore grades in certain parts of Sokor.
CNMC, which is seeking dual primary listings on the Hong Kong bourse, sold gold bars at a higher average price of US$1,343.36 per ounce in the fourth quarter compared with US$1,283.29 a year earlier. However, revenue still declined by 6.2 per cent to US$4.86 million due to a drop in production and sales volume.
Nevertheless, the bottom line was boosted by a decline in management remuneration and employee benefits resulting from a reversal of performance bonus accruals.
CNMC also received an uplift from an unrealised foreign exchange gain of US$700,000 as the Malaysian ringgit, in which the bulk of its nearly US$19.49 million cash is denominated, strengthened against the United States dollar.
Earnings per share for the quarter were 0.44 cent compared with a loss per share of 0.66 cent a year earlier.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: US$19.15 million (-44.8%)
NET PROFIT: US$2.78 million (-69.4%)
Net profit for the full year fell 69.4 per cent to US$2.78 million from US$9.09 million in the previous year. Turnover plunged 44.8 per cent to US$19.15 million, again due to lower production and sales volume.
Earnings per share were 0.94 cent for the full year compared with 3.07 cents for 2016, while net asset value per share was 13.29 cents as of Dec 31, down on the 14.07 cents recorded a year earlier.
Chief executive Chris Lim said: "Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect our performance in 2018 to improve once our CIL (carbon-in-leach) plant enters into full commercial production.
"This facility will be a major growth catalyst for us this year and beyond. We have stockpiled high-grade ore for processing at the CIL plant.
"In addition, we also plan to develop a new source of revenue and earnings by monetising the silver, lead and zinc uncovered in the course of our exploration work at Sokor."
The company began building the CIL plant in May last year. It will be its third gold processing facility at Sokor.
CNMC shares rose 1.5 cents to 26 cents yesterday after the results were announced.