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Harmony beats its own guidance with 6% gain in output


Publication: Bloomberg.com
Journalist: Carli Lourens

Harmony Gold Mining Ltd., Africa’s third-largest producer of the metal, beat its own output guidance, raising production 5.6 percent during the fiscal first quarter.

Output climbed to 373,431 ounces in the three months through September, from 353,752 ounces in the previous quarter, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement to the JSE stock exchange’s news service today. Harmony on Sept. 30 forecast that output would rise 4 percent.

Chief Executive Officer Graham Briggs is boosting output to mitigate the effect of rising wages and electricity costs. The company, which has all but one of its mines in South Africa, is also acquiring assets to help reach its goal of producing 2.2 million ounces by 2012, compared with 1.46 million ounces in fiscal 2009.

Harmony posted a first-quarter net loss of 29 million rand ($3.7 million), compared with net income of 238 million rand the previous quarter. While the dollar gold price rose to a record during the quarter, the South African currency advanced against the dollar, resulting in a decline in the gold price Harmony received, it said.

The company, which paid its first dividend in five years during the 2009 financial year, said today that it now intends to pay regular dividends. It also expects to complete the purchase of Pamodzi Gold Ltd.’s President Steyn mine next month.

Harmony rose 65 cents, or 0.8 percent, to 81.45 rand at 9:02 a.m. in Johannesburg, yesterday, giving a decline of 17 percent so far this year, compared with a 10 percent rise for the FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining index.

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