February 9, 2009 / 2:46 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-First Uranium posts surprise Q3 profit

* Post Q3 profit vs estimated loss

* Looking at reducing costs

* Q3 oper loss widens by over $2 mln (Recasts, adds details)

Feb 09 (Reuters) - Canada’s First Uranium Corp FIU.TO reported a surprise quarterly profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, helped by significant foreign exchange gains.

The company posted earnings of $1.3 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $4 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average expected the company to report a loss of 2 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue for the quarter soared to $16.5 million. One analyst expected revenue of $15.4 million.

First Uranium, which is building a uranium plant at its Ezulwini mine in South Africa, said it is actively assessing non-critical capital expenditures and opportunities to reduce overheads and operating costs.

The company added that it is also looking to secure near- and medium-term funding requirements for its currently-identified capital projects.

The company’s operating loss for the quarter widened to $6.7 million from $4.5 million in last year, hurt by loss incurred during production build-up at Ezulwini mine and higher general, consulting and administrative expenses.

During the quarter, the company incurred a gross loss of $6.1 million at Ezulwini mine.

Shares of the company, which is majority owned by South Africa’s Simmer & Jack Mines SIMJ.J, were trading up about 5 Canadian cents at C$4.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.227 Canadian Dollar) (Reporting by Chakradhar Adusumilli in Bangalore)

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