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Post Info TOPIC: PanAust downgrades earnings target
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PanAust downgrades earnings target
  
 


PanAust downgrades earnings target

SHARES in Laos-focused copper and gold producer PanAust have slumped after the company

said full year earnings will be at the lower end of its target range due to higher costs.

While PanAust expects copper and gold production to be at the upper end of the range, lower commodities prices would affect earnings for the 2013 full year, the company said on Monday.

"The positive effect on earnings of the excellent operating performances will be offset by softer realised commodity prices in the final quarter resulting in 2013 full year earnings being at the lower end of the guidance range," PanAust said in a statement.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to be between $US260 million and $US300 million ($A285.64 million to $A329.58 million) for full year 2013.

The company's shares dropped 4.5 cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $1.625.

PanAust has two mines in Laos - Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai.

The company said it remains on track to reach its copper and gold production targets of 62,000 to 65,000 tonnes of copper and 160,000 to 175,000 ounces of gold.

However, the company said full year costs were estimated to be above the upper end of the guidance range at both Phu Kham and towards the upper end of guidance range at Ban Houayxai, largely due to lower prices for by-products at each operation.

In fiscal 2014, the company expects copper production at Phu Kham to rise to between 65,000t and 70,000t and precious metal production to be 160,000 to 165,000 ounces.

Earnings in the 2014 full year are expected to fall to between $US200 million and $US225 million, assuming an average copper price of between $US3.20 and $US3.40 a pound and a gold price of $US1,300 an ounce.

PanAust said free cash flow was expected to more than double to approximately $US100 million ($A109.86 million) and would fund exploration in Laos, acquisition and planned study costs for the Frieda River Project in Papua New Guinea.



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