Johannesburg - Major
bullion producer Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] reported a 20% fall in headline earnings
in the fourth quarter of last year, largely because of the impact of an illegal
strike at two of its South African mines it has since spun off.
Gold Fields was reporting the last full set of results that
would include earnings before the unbundling of most of its South African
assets into a new bullion producer Sibanye Gold, which listed on Monday.
In its next results, earnings from the mines folded into
Sibanye will only be included for part of the quarter.
Headline earnings per share came in at 131 South African
cents for the quarter, down from 165 cents in the previous quarter, a fall of
about 20%. Its adjusted earnings were 187 cents per share compared to 202 cents
in the previous quarter.
Gold Fields' chief executive Nick Holland told Reuters the
fall in earnings "was mostly because of the 110 000 ounces of production
we lost to the strike".
Both operations that were hit by the strikes were unbundled into
Sibanye, making Gold Fields more attractive to investors uncomfortable with the
labour and political risks associated with South Africa.
The country's gold and platinum mines were hit by a wave of
wildcat action last year that unleashed violence which killed over 50
The company's total dividend for the year was 235 cents
compared to 330 cents last year, exceeding the 116 cents forecast by the
Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate.
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