October 5, 2018 / 6:47 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Gold miner Centamin cuts annual output target for second time

(Adds details on forecast, background)

Oct 5 (Reuters) - Gold miner Centamin Plc cut its annual production target for the second time this year and reported a 25 percent drop in quarterly output, hit by delays in planned operational improvements.

The Egypt-focused company said on Friday that it cut its 2018 production target to about 480,000 ounces from an earlier target of 505,000-515,000 ounces. In May, it cut the production target from 580,000 ounces, due to lower grade ore at its Sukari mine in the country.

Centamin also said on Friday its third-quarter production fell to 117,720 ounces from 156,533 ounces in the year-ago quarter.

The company said gold production rose month on month from operational improvements in the open pit and underground mines, but improvements had taken longer than planned to materialise.

The 2018 output forecast revision comes just a couple of months after the Egypt-focused company stuck to the target and posted quarterly core earnings that topped market expectations.

However, the second-quarter beat was driven by lower-than-estimated mine site costs and inventory-driven sales volumes rather than production, which dropped 26 percent. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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