SEMAFO Inc.
TSX : SMF

SEMAFO Inc.

November 10, 2010 17:00 ET

SEMAFO Reports Third Quarter 2010 Operating Income of $38.6 Million

- Operating Income Increases by 154% - Margins Up 61%

- Net Income Increases 115% and Cash Flow Up 65%

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2010) - SEMAFO (TSX:SMF) today announced its third quarter financial and operational results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2010. All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Third Quarter 2010 Highlights

In the third quarter 2010, SEMAFO produced 65,500 ounces of gold and achieved gold sales of $86.2 million, compared to gold production of 62,300 ounces and sales of $59.4 million for the corresponding period in 2009. Highlights for this third quarter include:

  • Gold production of 65,500 ounces, a 5% increase year over year
  • Record quarterly production at Mana of 46,400 ounces of gold
  • Gold sales of $86.2 million, an increase of 45% year over year
  • Cash operating cost of $454 per ounce, an improvement of 4% compared to $472 for the same period in 2009
  • Operating income of $38.6 million, an increase of 154% year over year
  • Net income of $28.8 million or $0.11 per share, a 115% improvement year over year
  • Quarterly cash flow from operating activities of $40.0 million or $0.15 per share, a 65% increase year over year
  • Continued exploration success at Mana
  • Successful completion of Phase II of the Mana plant expansion
  • Encouraging exploration results at Samira Hill

A Word from the CEO

SEMAFO is committed to deliver consistently strong operating results and the third quarter of 2010 was no exception. We continue to run our operations at maximum capacity, availing us the opportunity to benefit from an increasingly strong gold market. Our disciplined growth strategy continued to positively impact operations, resulting in an 8% improvement in gold production for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 over the corresponding period in 2009.

We achieved significant year-over-year increases for the third quarter: revenues improved by 45%, operating income increased 154%, net income rose by 115%, and earnings per share were up 120%. Our cash flow from operating activities surpassed third quarter 2009 results by 65%, while our cash operating cost per ounce produced decreased by 4%.

SEMAFO's average realized gold price for the third quarter 2010 was $1,241 per ounce, $14 above the London Gold Fix and representing $31 over Q2 2010. As a result of our effective gold selling strategy, SEMAFO's average realized gold price surpassed the average London Gold Fix for a seventh consecutive quarter.

During the quarter, we produced a record 46,400 ounces of gold at our flagship Mana Mine, representing 71% of our three-month production total. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, Mana generated 67% of our total gold production.

Our investment in organic growth is gathering momentum. Earlier in the year, we announced an additional $9.0 million to fund ongoing exploration at Mana bringing the total 2010 Mana exploration budget to $18.2 million. The 2010 exploration program objectives include advancing early stage targets, further expanding the Wona Deep deposit and ultimately increasing reserves and resources. Results during the quarter included core drilling at Wona SW, which confirmed high grade mineralization with values of up to 7.32 g/t Au across 8.8 meters and 4.20 g/t Au over 32 meters. The new Fofina Zone demonstrated good continuity with values of up 4.44 g/t Au over 23 meters and the Fobiri Zone returned significant drill intersections.

During the quarter, we increased liquidity and improved our total cash margin by 61% over the third quarter 2009. Our balance sheet is stronger than ever as our debt to equity ratio now stands at 4% compared to 17% for the corresponding period last year.

The third quarter is a testimony to our commitment to increase shareholder value through a disciplined growth strategy and by delivering on our promises. We are well positioned to continue to benefit from favorable gold prices as well as to deliver significant long-term value to our shareholders.

Consolidated Results and Mining Operations

  Three-month period ended September 30   Nine-month period ended September 30  
  2010 2009   Variation   2010 2009   Variation  
Operating Highlights                    
Gold ounces produced 65,500 62,300   5 % 199,600 184,500   8 %
Gold ounces sold 69,500 61,200   14 % 198,700 177,800   12 %
                     
(In thousands of
dollars, except
amounts per
ounce and
per tonne)
                 
Revenues – Gold sales 86,223 59,361   45 % 236,883 167,502   41 %
Mining operating costs 31,267 28,697   9 % 88,793 81,167   9 %
Government royalties 3,236 2,312   40 % 9,030 6,677   35 %
Operating income 38,615 15,195   154 % 95,664 43,411   120 %
Income tax expense 10,393 2,320   348 % 16,331 5,841   180 %
Net income 28,809 13,399   115 % 76,245 33,022   131 %
Cash flow from operating activities (1) 40,041 24,301   65 % 108,708 68,245   59 %
Basic net income per share 0.11 0.05   120 % 0.29 0.14   107 %
Diluted net income per share 0.10 0.05   100 % 0.29 0.14   107 %
Operating cash flow per share (2) 0.15 0.10   50 % 0.40 0.29   38 %
                     
Average realized price (per ounce) 1,241 969   28 % 1,192 942   27 %
Cash operating cost (per ounce produced) (3) 454 472   (4 %) 445 450   (1 %)
Cash operating cost (per tonne processed) (3) 34 34   -   32 32   -  
Total cash cost (per ounce sold) (4) 496 507   (2 %) 492 494   -  
                     
(1)Cash flow from operating activities excludes changes in non-cash working capital items and settlement of liabilities related to asset retirement obligations.
(2)Operating cash flow per share is a non-GAAP measure. See the ''Non-GAAP Measures" section of SEMAFO's MD&A.
(3)Cash operating cost is a non-GAAP measure and is calculated using ounces produced and tonnes processed. See the ''Non-GAAP Measures" section of SEMAFO's MD&A.
(4)Total cash cost is a non-GAAP measure and represents the mining operating costs and government royalties per ounce sold.

SEMAFO's Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis and other relevant financial materials are available in the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at www.semafo.com. These and other Company reports are also available on the website maintained by the Canadian Securities Administrators at www.sedar.com.

Management remains confident that the Company will attain its 2010 production guidance of between 235,000 and 260,000 ounces of gold.

SEMAFO will host a conference call to discuss the results, as well as to provide an update on operations.

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 10:00 AM (ET)
Tel. local & overseas: 416 981-9000
Tel. North America: 1 800 750-5857

The conference call will feature Benoit La Salle, CA, President and Chief Executive Officer and Benoit Desormeaux, CA, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.

The conference call will be archived for replay until December 3, 2010. To access the archived conference call, please dial 1 800 558-5253 and enter pass code 21484273 followed by the number sign (#).

A live audio webcast of the conference can be accessed through SEMAFO's website at www.semafo.com. The webcast will be available for replay for a period of 90 days.

About SEMAFO

SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Company currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities in West Africa.

Caution Concerning Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions and accordingly, actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. You are hence cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include words or expressions such as "growth", "objectives", "expanding", "ultimately", "increasing", "continue", "committed", "evolve", "become", "pursuing" and other similar words or expressions. Factors that could cause future results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include the ability to meet the objectives of our 2010 exploration program, including advancing early stage targets, further expanding the Wona Deep deposit and ultimately increasing reserves and resources, the ability to meet our 2010 production guidance of between 235,000 and 260,000 ounces of gold, the ability to execute on our strategic focus, fluctuation in the price of currencies, gold or operating costs, mining industry risks, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral reserves and resources, delays, political and social stability in Africa (including our ability to maintain or renew licenses and permits) and other risks described in SEMAFO's documents filed with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. You can find further information with respect to these and other risks in SEMAFO's 2009 Annual MD&A and 2009 Annual Information Form, as updated in SEMAFO's 2010 First Quarter MD&A, Second Quarter MD&A and Third Quarter MD&A, and other filings made with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. These documents are also available on our website at www.semafo.com. SEMAFO disclaims any obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.

Contact Information

  • SEMAFO
    Benoit La Salle, CA
    President & CEO
    514-744-4408
    Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408
    blasalle@semafo.com
    or
    SEMAFO
    Sofia St Laurent
    Communications
    514-744-4408
    Toll-Free: 1-888-744-4408
    sstlaurent@semafo.com