Harmony Gold narrows quarterly loss

by Reuters 0

South Africa’s Harmony Gold on Friday narrowed its quarterly loss as job cuts, cost reductions and a favourable exchange rate helped offset lower gold output.

[DATA HAR:Harmony] said its headline loss per share for the three months to end-March were 5 U.S. cents compared with a loss of 10 cents in the previous quarter.

Hit by weaker global gold prices, the company cut about 1,300 jobs at its Kusasalethu mine and said it plans more reductions in the next quarter.

Earnings were boosted by the weakness of the rand against the U.S. dollar, which lifted gold prices in the local currency 6 percent during the quarter. Gold output, however, fell 10 percent to 7,642 kilograms compared to the previous quarter due to a slowdown in start-ups.

“We have responded to a lower gold price, first by rationalising our assets and then restructuring our portfolio – cutting costs, reducing labour numbers and focusing on mining only safe, profitable ounces,” said Harmony Gold chief executive Graham Briggs.