South African mining company Gold Fields said on Wednesday that surging gold prices could catapult its half-year profits by more than 300 percent, triggering a ten percent rally in its shares.
The company, which earlier predicted that the coronavirus pandemic would have a limited negative impact on its performance, now says it could reap hefty gains due to rising gold prices.
Headline earnings (the main profit measure in South Africa) for the first half of the year are expected to be $19.5- $20.5 per share, or between 290 percent and 310 percent higher than the $0.05 per share reported last year.
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“The increase in earnings for the period is driven largely by the increase in the gold price received,” Gold Fields said in a statement, adding that attributable gold equivalent production rose only marginally.
The mining company kept its production guidance for the full-year at the same level, but said costs could be higher than previously flagged after these rose during the first half of the year.
Gold prices have been rallying amid global pandemic uncertainty. In June, bullion had its biggest monthly gain since 2012, soaring 11 percent as investors weighed a weaker dollar and record-low US real yields. The precious metal was trading at around $2,050 per ounce on Wednesday.
The discovery of gold in the late 19th century in South Africa made it the world’s primary gold producer. Over 50 percent of all gold reserves are found in the country, with the Witwatersrand Basin remaining the largest gold resource in the world.
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