(Adds production and more financial data)
May 7 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold Corp reported a sharp drop in first-quarter net earnings on Wednesday due to weaker bullion prices but its production increased and costs edged lower.
The Canadian miner said its net earnings fell to $31.8 million, or 3 cents a share, in the three months to the end of March from $162.4 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier.
Adjusted for one-time items, Kinross’ earnings dropped to $34.1 million, or 3 cents a share, from $172.4 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue dropped to $817.4 million from $1.06 billion as realized gold prices fell to $1,299 an ounce in the quarter from $1,624 per ounce a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 4 cents a share on revenue of $821 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company, which is the world’s fifth-biggest gold producer and has mines in North and South America as well as Africa and Russia, said its production was 664,690 of gold equivalent ounces in the first quarter, up from 648,897 ounces in the same period in 2013.
Gold equivalent ounces include silver ounces produced and sold, converted to a gold equivalent based on a ratio of the average spot market price for the commodities for each year.
Kinross’ all-in sustaining costs for gold were $1,001 an ounce in the quarter, down from $1,030 per ounce in the same quarter a year ago.
Kinross repeated its 2014 production, cost and capital expenditure forecasts. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio and Dan Grebler)