UPDATE 1-Eldorado turns to loss on Greek tax rate charge

Thu May 2, 2013 7:00pm EDT

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TORONTO May 2 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Eldorado Gold Corp posted a first-quarter loss on Thursday, hit by $125.2 million charge related to a change in the Greek tax rate.

The gold producer posted a net loss attributable to shareholders of $45.5 million, or 6 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31. That compared with earnings of $67.9 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusted to remove the tax charge and other one-time items, the profit was $79.8 million, or 11 cents a share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 12 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenues rose 24.5 percent to $338.1 million as gold sales climbed 26 percent to 189,346 ounces. Eldorado's average realized gold price fell 5 percent to $1,622 an ounce.

The gold price has since slipped to around $1,465 an ounce, but Eldorado said its lower-cost project mean it is "well positioned to confront the recent weakness in gold prices."

Total cash costs climbed 7 percent to $567 per ounce in the first quarter, on higher unit costs at its Chinese mines due to lower grades. The company maintained its 2013 output targets.

Eldorado, which owns projects in Turkey, China, Greece and Brazil, noted that a Greek court in April upheld its environmental permits for the Hellas Gold projects in the Halkidiki region.

Some of the Vancouver-based miner's operations in Greece have faced intense opposition from activists and locals, who say the mines will hurt tourism, the environment and agriculture.

In February, a large group of masked and armed invaders attacked the Skouries project, setting machinery and equipment on fire, and assaulted two security guards.

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