* Newcrest posts FY2014 net loss of $A2.653 billion
* Says aiming to better gold mine productivity this year
* Gold output flat at best in FY2015
(Adds ceo quotes, details, share price)
SYDNEY, Aug 18 Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd
posted an expected A$2.6 billion ($2.4 billion) net
loss after writing down the value of its gold mines, and
forecast flat gold production at best this year as it strives to
Newcrest, which flagged a raft of one-off asset impairments
to the market on July 24, has embarked on a company wide
improvement programme, including a review of its giant Lihir
mine, located in Papua New Guinea.
"While we have realised some initial operating improvements,
I am not satisfied with either the current operating performance
or the cash generation of the business," Newcrest Chief
Executive Sandeep Biswas said in a statement.
Newcrest blamed the loss mostly on A$2.35 billion of asset
impairments at its Lihir, Telfer, Bonikro and Hidden Valley
Its underlying profit dipped to $432 million, down from $451
million a year ago.
The miner said gold production is expected to be in the
range of 2.2 to 2.4 million ounces in 2015, compared with 2.396
million ounces 2014.
The most significant component of the write downs related to
Lihir, which produced 175,000 ounces of gold in the last quarter
- above its other mines - but also represented the highest costs
Newcrest shares dipped a little over 1 percent to A$11.04
against a slightly firmer market in early trading on
(1 US dollar = 1.0733 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin)