LIMA, April 30 Peruvian miner Buenaventura said on Wednesday that its net profit plunged 116 percent to -$16.1 million in the first quarter from a year ago, resulting in the company's second straight quarterly loss.
Lower metal prices dragged sales down 20 percent to $274 million in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2013, and gold output also dropped by a fifth, the company said.
Operating income fell 95 percent to $3.5 million on low revenues while costs jumped 80 percent to $28.8 million, it added.
Buenaventura is the biggest precious metals miner in Peru, which is now the world's fifth-largest gold producer.
In the first quarter of 2013 the company reported $102.7 in net profits. The loss logged in the first quarter of this year follows the company's net negative of $288.4 million in the fourth quarter.
In all of 2013, Buenaventura posted a $101.7 million loss, compared to net profits of $703.6 million in 2012.
(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Prudence Crowther)