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LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Randgold Resources reported falls in first-quarter profit and production on Thursday hurt by labour strikes but the miner said it remained on track to meet its annual targets.
By 0840 GMT, shares in the company rose 1.4 percent in London, compared to a 0.53 percent decline in the wider sector.
Employees during the quarter downed tools at the Loulo-Gounkoto complex in Mali for four days and at the Tongon mine in Ivory Coast for nine, Randgold said.
“There was a lot of effort from everyone to commit to the catch-up plan,” Chief Executive Mark Bristow told Reuters, referring to the Tongon mine, adding that there were no changes to its annual production targets.
The 2017 target production is 1.25-1.30 million ounces.
Profit for the quarter fell 10 percent to $84.9 million while production totalled 322,470 ounces, down 15 percent from the previous quarter, the London-listed company said in a statement.
Year on year, profit was up 33 percent and production up 10 percent. The company ramped up production last year to record levels as the gold price rallied and also made cost savings.
“The past quarter’s work stoppages, which disrupted our usually stable industrial relations climate, prompted us to take a fresh look at this aspect of our business...,” Bristow said in a statement.
Committees were set up to resolve confrontations between management and labour over pay.
In February, Randgold hiked its 2016 dividend by 52 percent after meeting its net cash target of $500 million ahead of estimates and without any debt.
Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; editing by Susan Fenton and Jason Neely