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B2Gold sinks to Q4'18 loss; FY'18 profit drops on impairment charges

B2Gold Corp. said March 12 that it swung to an attributable net loss of US$58.9 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2018, from a profit of US$29.9 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the three months, meanwhile, totaled US$272.1 million, increasing from US$174.0 million a year earlier.

Adjusted net income — which excluded the effects of nonrecurring items — more than doubled to US$14 million from US$6 million.

For full-year 2018, attributable net profit slumped to US$28.9 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, from US$56.9 million, or 6 cents per diluted share.

The TSX-listed miner's results during the period were affected by a US$55 million net impairment charge at the La Libertad gold mine, due to political instability in Nicaragua, and the sale of the Mocoa copper-molybdenum deposit in the second quarter of 2018.

Revenue for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, nearly doubled to a record US$1.23 billion from US$638.7 million, on the back of gold sales of 221,307 ounces at an average price of US$1,230 per ounce, record gold production of 953,504 ounces and the timing of gold sales.

During the 12 months, the miner more than tripled its adjusted net income to US$162 million, or 16 cents per share, from US$52 million, or 5 cents per share.

In 2018, the miner booked a US$109 million tax expense, ballooning from US$27 million in 2017.

B2Gold reiterated its forecast consolidated gold output in 2019 to range between 935,000 and 975,000 ounces. Consolidated cash costs are projected to remain low this year, with cash operating costs expected to range from US$520/oz to US$560/oz and all-in sustaining costs to come in at between US$835/oz and US$875/oz.

Cash flow from operations is now expected to come in at approximately US$410 million, based on a gold price of US$1,300/oz. Using a gold price of US$1,250/oz, however, will result in a projected cash flow of about US$370 million.