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Sherritt swings to loss, but Pathe optimistic

Keywords: Tags  Sherritt Internatioanl, nickel, Ambatovy, earnings report, coal, David Pathe, Rey Mashayekhi

NEW YORK — Sherritt International Corp. posted a first-quarter net loss of Canadian $48.2 million ($43.97 million), despite positive production figures from its Ambatovy Mine in Madagascar and the recent sale of its coal business.

The Toronto-based miner noted in its financial report April 30 that earnings were "affected by the impact of higher financing expense related to foreign exchange losses as a result of the weakening Canadian dollar," as well as depreciation, depletion and amortization being recognized at Ambatovy for the first time since commercial production was declared at the facility in January.

Sherritt fell into the red despite a 13-percent increase in revenue to C$120.9 million ($110.29 million) from C$107 million a year earlier. President and chief executive officer David Pathe said the company experienced an increase in momentum in the quarter, noting "an important milestone" with Ambatovy’s initiation of commercial production (, Jan. 23) and finished nickel sales volumes that increased 64 percent with the Madagascar mine’s help.

Besides benefiting from strengthening nickel prices, Pathe said the company also will prosper from the completion of the sale of its coal business this week (, April 29) as well as "significant strides in (Sherritt’s) ongoing efforts to reduce costs."

"Our near-term focus continues to be paying down debt, meeting our cost-reduction targets and moving Ambatovy forward," Pathe said.

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