(Reuters) - Uranium One Inc UUU.TO on Monday reported a drop in quarterly profit as lower realized uranium prices outweighed higher sales volumes.
Canada’s No.2 uranium producer’s profit was $4.5 million, or nil a share, in the quarter ended March 31. That compared with $14 million, or 1 cent a share, in the year-earlier period.
Adjusted to remove one-time items, profit was $15.1 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with $15 million, or 2 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2011.
Revenue fell 6 percent to $95.9 million as the average realized price per pound of uranium dropped to $53 from $61. The company’s average cash cost per pound sold in the quarter was steady at $14.
The spot price for uranium fell in March of last year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster led to reactor shutdowns in Japan and Germany. Despite the near term uncertainty, longer term demand remains strong as China, India, Russia and South Korea move ahead with plans to ramp up atomic output.
Uranium One’s sales volumes in the quarter rose 8 percent to 1.8 million pounds, while production was 18 percent higher at 2.8 million pounds.
The company expects to produce 11.6 million pounds of uranium this year and 12.5 million pounds in 2013.
The miner paid $150 million in the quarter to acquire 13.9 percent of Mantra Resources, owned by Uranium One’s largest shareholder JSC Atomredmetzoloto. Uranium One has an option to buy the remaining interest in Mantra and its flagship Mkuju River project in Tanzania.
The Toronto-based miner owns assets in Kazakhstan, the United States and Australia, and is the operator at Mkuju River.
Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Marguerita Choy