UPDATE 1-Yamana profit jumps on higher gold output

Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:24pm EST

TORONTO Feb 20 (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner Yamana Gold Inc reported a boost in quarterly profit on Wednesday as strong gold production and sales outweighed higher operating costs.

The Toronto-based mining company, which produced a record 1.2 million gold equivalent ounces in 2012, said it plans to boost output by at least 20 percent in 2013 as it brings two new mines into production.

Net earnings rose to $169.2 million, or 22 cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $89.6 million, or 12 cents, in the year-before period.

Adjusted to remove one-time items, earnings came in at $197.4 million, or 26 cents a share. That was in line with analysts' average expectation of 25 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $629.5 million as fourth quarter output jumped 17 percent to 322,990 gold equivalent ounces.

The average realized gold price rose slightly to $1,692 an ounce, up from $1,670 an ounce in the year-ago period, while operating costs climbed on lower gold grades and higher input costs at certain mines.

Full year production rose 9 percent to 1.2 million gold equivalent ounces in 2012. Yamana said it expects 2013 output in the range of 1.44 million to 1.60 million ounces, an increase of at least 20 percent.

The mid-tier gold producer is ramping up production at its Ernesto/Pau a Pique mine in Brazil, and has two other Brazilian mines, C1 Santa Luz and Pilar, under construction, with first output at both expected later this year.

Yamana plans to spend $470 million in 2013 on expansionary capital projects and $445 million on sustaining capital.

Yamana also announced on Wednesday a quarterly dividend of $0.065 a share.

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