April 29 (Reuters) - Canadian uranium miner Cameco Corp said it expects revenue to rise 5 percent in 2015 due to a weak Canadian dollar, reversing its earlier forecast of a 5 percent decline.
Cameco, which reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on higher costs and weak production, also raised its capital budget for the year by 9.5 percent to C$405 million ($337 million).
Uranium demand is rebounding after Japan decided to restart some reactors years after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown. Cameco also secured a deal to supply 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate to India over the next five years.
Cameco pinned the increased capital budget on higher costs to increase capacity at McClean Lake mill in Saskatchewan to process all the uranium ore from the Cigar Lake mine, the world’s second largest high-grade uranium deposit.
The company said the expanded budget also included spending on projects at the McArthur River mine, the world’s largest-producing uranium mine, and Key Lake, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.
Cameco’s uranium sales rose marginally to 7 million pounds in the quarter, while its average realized uranium price fell 7 percent to $43.42 per pound.
Production volumes fell 10.5 percent to 5.1 million pounds, while average cost of sales rose 9.5 percent to C$36.47 per pound.
Cameco reported a net loss attributable to shareholders of C$9 million, or 2 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of C$131 million, or 33 Canadian cents, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding items, profit was 18 Canadian cents per share, lower than analysts’ average estimate of 25 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The year-ago profit included a gain of C$127 million related to an asset sale.
Revenue rose 35 percent to C$566 million, but missed the analysts’ average estimate of C$574.3 million.
Cameco shares were nearly unchanged at C$20.95 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1 = 1.19 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Anannya Pramanick in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)