Sibanye Gold has seen an improved year-on-year operating result for the first quarter of 2014 and expects earnings per share to be 20% higher than the earnings reported during the previous corresponding period of 2013.

Production of 10 338 kg was 11% higher than that of the March 2013 quarter with the Driefontein, Kloof and Beatrix operations generating operating profit of R1 744 million, 15% higher than the R1 539 million operating profit generated in the same period last year. These results were achieved at an average Rand gold price of R453 608 per kg, which was 4% lower than that achieved in the March 2013 quarter.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period amounted to approximately R1 244 million after paying dividends, royalties and half yearly taxes.  The group’s net debt position at the end of March 2014 was R748 million.

All-in cost of R365 187 per kg was 9% lower than the R399 495 per kg reported in the March 2013 quarter, mainly due to the increase in production year-on-year and the benefits realised from the continued implementation of the new Sibanye operating model.

“It is pleasing that the operating performance evident in the second half of 2013 has been maintained into 2014. The operating results for the March 2014 quarter are ahead of our forecast and continue to reflect the success of our new operating model,” says Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman.