In the media

DRDGOLD increases headline earnings per share

[citizen.co.za] -- DRDGOLD on Tuesday reported a 44 percent increase in headline earnings per share to R12.50 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

JOHANNESBURG - DRDGOLD on Tuesday reported a 44 percent increase in headline earnings per share to R12.50 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

"DRDGOLD Limited today reported a 42 percent increase in net profit to R59.1 million and a 44 percent increase in headline earnings per share to R12.50 for the quarter ended 31 March 2011," the mining company said in a statement.

The group saw a three percent decline in gold production to 67,387 ounces and a five percent increase in cash operating costs to R241,563/kg.

This was offset by lower deferred taxation of R5.5m compared with the previous quarter’s R34.3m.

The group’s "top performer" for the quarter was the Ergo surface retreatment operation which increased gold production by eight percent to 12,506 ounces.

It also reduced cash operating costs by six percent leading to a 40 percent increase in cash operating profit to R48.5m.

"At the group’s other surface retreatment-only operation, Crown, gold production was lower as recovery of the Top Star dump in Johannesburg’s CBD starts to wind down, costs were higher and cash operating profit lower."

The Blyvoor operation reported lower production, higher costs and a reduction in cash operating profit.

"This was due to time taken to re-establish safety and environment standards following the Christmas break; safety precautions taken to manage around increased seismicity during March; and a one-day shut-down in memory of eight workers who died in a bus accident on 18 March."

DRDGOLD plans to offer its majority shareholding in Blyvoor for sale, CEO Nils Pretorius said.

"Further to our announcement in the previous quarter regarding the separation of assets, the board has now concluded that Blyvoor no longer fits the core strategic focus of the company," Pretorius said.

Safety performance across the group was mixed during the quarter.

Blyvoor and Crown Gold Recoveries reported improvements in their lost time injury frequency rate and reportable injury frequency rate, but recorded deterioration in their dressing injury frequency rate.

Blyvoor achieved five million gravity falls of ground fatality-free shifts.

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