Heavy equipment at Barrick gold operation
Heavy equipment at Barrick gold operation Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold Corp., the world's largest gold mining company, reported flat fourth-quarter net profit as higher costs offset increased production and higher selling prices.

The Canada-based company's quarterly profit slipped to $959 million, or 96 cents per share, from $961 million, or 97 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2010.

However, adjusted fourth-quarter net profit jumped to $1.17 billion, or $1.17 per share, from $1.02 billion, or $1.02 per share, in the year-earlier period, primarily reflecting higher realized gold prices and higher copper sales volumes, Barrick said in a statement.

Total cash costs in the last three months of 2011 increased to $505 per ounce from $440 per ounce.

The realized gold price for the quarter was $1,664 per ounce, 22 percent higher than the same prior year period.

Fourth-quartergold production was 1.81 million ounces compared with 1.7 million ounces.

For all of last year, net earnings rose to $4.48 billion, or $4.49 per share, compared with $3.58 billion, or $3.63 per share. Revenue climbed to $14.31 billion from $11 billion in all of 2010.

Total cash costs per ounce for 2011 climbed to $460 from $409.

Full-year gold production of 7.68 million ounces compared with 7.77 million ounces in 2010.

Barrick replaced proven and probable gold reserves to 139.9 million ounces in 2011 and set a record high cash flow.

The company forecast 2012 gold production of 7.3 million ounces to 7.8 million ounces.