February 18, 2009 / 9:40 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Kinross Gold takes steep loss on writedown

(In U.S. dollars, unless noted)

TORONTO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Kinross Gold K.TO said on Wednesday it fell to a steep loss in the fourth quarter as it took a $1 billion charge to write down its 2007 acquisition of Bema Gold.

Canada’s No. 3 gold producer lost $968.8 million, or $1.47 a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That compared with a profit of C$173.1 million, or 29 cents a share, in the year-before period.

Stripping out the writedown, which Kinross warned of in January, as well as other small items, the company earned 9 cents a share.

The result slightly beat expectations of a profit of 10 cents a share, before items, as polled by Thomson Reuters.

Gold equivalent production rose 43 percent to 550,221 ounces, while costs per ounces retreated 11 percent to $375.

Revenue climbed 72 percent to $484.4 million. Realized gold prices were virtually flat at $794 an ounce, compared with $796.

$1=$1.26 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson

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