For release: 07:00, 29 January 2004
Production up 20%, costs down 13%
DRD BEATS STRONGER RAND
Johannesburg, South Africa – 29.01.04 – Durban Roodepoort Deep, Limited (JSE: DUR; NASDAQ:
DROOY; ASX: DRD) increased gold production by 20% and reduced costs by 13% to “substantially beat”
the negative impact of the stronger Rand during the quarter ended 31 December 2003, Executive Chairman
Mark Wellesley-Wood said at a briefing on the company’s results for the quarter today.
Cash operating profit, as a consequence, was US$14.1 million (R94.7 million), compared with the previous
quarter’s US$2.7 million (R21.0 million) cash operating loss.
Higher gold production was achieved both through the acquisition of a 20% interest in the Porgera Joint Venture
(PJV) in Papua New Guinea and stronger performances from all of the company’s operations other than its
North West Operations (NWO) where production was lower, in line with restructuring undertaken during the
The PJV acquisition and NWO restructuring both contributed to reducing cash operating costs to US$330 per
ounce (R71 766 per kilogram) from US$378 per ounce (R90 520 per kilogram).
While the spot gold price reached a 14-year high of $417.25 on 31 December 2003 and the Dollar gold price
received was 9% higher quarter on quarter at $396 per ounce, the Rand gold price received was 1% lower at
R86 032 per kilogram due to the continued strength of the South African currency.
Shareholders’ equity increased to US$85.6 million (R570.5 million) from US$53.8 million (R376.9 million) and
interest-bearing debt reduced to 82% of shareholders’ equity from 134%.
Looking ahead, Wellesley-Wood said DRD’s investment in eight operating gold mines and significant
diversification of earnings in various currencies provided a platform to deliver consistent results, while a strong
balance sheet positioned the company well to fund further growth.