Although Agnico-Eagle reported a substantial decline in income from $65.2 million or 46-cents a share in the fourth-quarter 2007 to $21.9 million (15-cents/sh) during the fourth-quarter 2008, the Canadian miner forecast increased gold, silver, zinc and copper production this year.
The decline is income was attributed to non-cash write-down investments of $39.2 million or 27-cents per share during the fourth-quarter 2008.
During a conference call to discuss financial results Wednesday, Agnico-Eagle CEO Sean Boyd reported a $52-million drop in by-product revenue.
However, the company also reported record gold production of 89,360 ounces of gold and record gold reserves of 18.1 million ounces at the end of the year.
For the full-year 2008 Agnico-Eagle reported net income of $73.2 million (51-cents/sh), down from $139.3 million ($1.05/sh) recorded during 2007. Last year's earnings were negatively impacted by a lower zinc price and reduced zinc output, which were partly offset by 20% higher gold production and high gold prices.
Boyd forecast double the gold production from 276,762 ounces in 2008 to 590,000 ounces this year. Gold production is expected to double again to 1.2 million ounces in 2010.
At year end Agnico-Eagle reported 18.1 million ounces in gold reserves and forecasts that reserve will reach 19 million to 20 million ounces by the end of 2009. Agnico-Eagle is targeting year-end 2010 gold reserves of between 20 million and 21 million ounces of gold.
Agnico-Eagle's proven and probable byproduct reserves at year-end 2008 include 141 million ounces of silver, 584,000 tonnes of zinc and 103,000 tonnes of copper.
The company also predicted an increase in silver production from 4.08 million ounces last year to 4.5 million ounces this year. Zinc production will be increased from 65,755 tonnes in 2008 to 67,500 tonnes this year. Copper production will also be upped from 6,600 tonnes last year to 6,922 tonnes this year.
In 2009, capex is expected to be $450 million.