East Africa-focussed gold producer, developer and explorer Shanta Gold released its audited final results for the year ended 31 December on Monday, reporting revenue of $103.4m, up from $107.1m, at an average realised gold price of $1,263 per ounce, compared to $1,220 per oz in 2016.
The AIM-traded company said its focus remained on its flagship asset, the New Luika Gold Mine in Southwest Tanzania, throughout the year.
It said its EBITDA totalled $37.7m, falling from $50.2m, inclusive of revenues from development ore.
Profit after taxation was $4.2m, swinging from a loss after taxation of $8.0m a year earlier, while net debt at year end was $4.7m narrower at $39.5m.
Shanta said its all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $743 per oz compared to guidance, restated on a World Gold Council basis, of $781 per oz, but was higher than its AISC of $659 per oz in 2016.
Capital expenditure totalled $37.9m for the year, down from $54.6m.
Operating cash flow before movement in working capital was $40.3m, down from $50.1m, with the company holding cash and cash equivalents of $13.6m at year-end, compared to $14.9m a year earlier.
On the operational front, gold production of 79,585 ounces was said to be consistent with the board's guidance of approximately 80,000 oz, with gold sales of 80,365 falling from 86,332 oz in the prior year.
Looking ahead, the company gave annual guidance for 2018 of between 82,000 oz and 88,000 oz at an AISC of between $680 and $730 per oz.
"We are pleased to report a set of full year results that reflect a sustainable transition to underground mining at New Luika, as well as a new management strategy of cost control and optimisation," said CEO Eric Zurrin.
"Considerable inroads have been made into reducing the net debt position and the continuation of this is central to plans for restructuring the company's balance sheet."
Zurrin said recording a profit in 2017 for the first time would not have been possible had the underground operation not been transitioned to on-time and within budget, adding that the firm's efforts to optimise its recurring cost base would be a "key driver" towards improving future cash flows.
"Our priorities for 2018 remain focussed on continued low-cost operational excellence, balance sheet deleveraging, and targeted growth."