UPDATE 1-Silver Wheaton profit shrinks due to lower metal prices
(Adds details from statement)
May 8 (Reuters) - Mining financier Silver Wheaton Corp reported a 40 percent smaller profit in the first quarter, hurt by fall in metal prices.
The company's attributable silver equivalent production rose 8 percent to 9 million equivalent ounces but average realized silver equivalent prices fell 31 percent to $20.38 per ounce.
Vancouver-based Silver Wheaton helps finance mining projects in exchange for the right to buy future silver production at a set price.
The company's profit fell to $79.8 million, or 22 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $133.4 million, or 38 cents, a year earlier.
Revenue fell 20 percent to $165.4 million while costs were 4 percent higher at $4.57 per silver equivalent ounce.
Silver Wheaton said production would increase further this year as new mines open and existing mines expand.
Based on current agreements, it forecast 2014 annual attributable production of around 36 million silver equivalent ounces, including 155,000 ounces of gold.
The company's shares closed at C$23.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock closed at $21.80 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver and Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)