UPDATE 1-Sherritt revenue boosted by Ambatovy nickel output

Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:45pm EDT
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April 28 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Sherritt International Corp reported an 11 percent rise in quarterly revenue as it ramped up nickel production at its flagship mine in Madagascar and boosted output in Cuba.

The Ambatovy joint venture in Madagascar, in which Sherritt has a 40 percent interest, produced 33 percent more nickel in the first quarter than a year earlier, the company said on Tuesday.

The project achieved its target production rate ahead of schedule, overcoming a hydrogen sulphide leak and a strike during the quarter. A separate strike in April has also since been resolved.

Sherritt's partners in the Ambatovy project are Sumitomo Corp, Korea Resources Corp and SNC-Lavalin Group.

Sherritt said it expected nickel markets to remain under pressure due to weakened demand from stainless steel mills.

The company also said it recorded a C$30 million benefit from lower taxes at its Cuban operations as a result of a new foreign investment during the first quarter.

Sherritt said revenue was C$278.3 million ($231.3 million) for the quarter ended March 31, up from C$250.7 million a year earlier.

The company reported a net loss from continuing operations of C$56.8 million, or 19 Canadian cents per share, compared with C$70.5 million, or 24 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, net loss from continuing operations was 24 Canadian cents per share.

Up to Tuesday's close of C$2.35, the Toronto-based company's shares had fallen nearly 50 percent in the last 12 months, steeper than the 8 percent fall in the S&P/TSX capped diversified metals and mining index. ($1 = 1.2030 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Robin Paxton)