February 24, 2010 / 1:38 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Sherritt posts profit; Ambatovy project advances

* Q4 EPS C$0.16 vs year-ago loss of C$2.03

* Quarterly revenue flat at C$380 mln

TORONTO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Sherritt International (S.TO) said on Wednesday it posted a fourth-quarter profit, compared against a year-ago loss, when results were hurt by a large goodwill impairment charge.

The Canadian miner and energy producer, whose main assets are in Cuba, earned C$48.3 million, or 16 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

That compared with a net loss of C$592.1 million, or C$2.03 a share, in the year-ago period, when the company took a write-down on its high-cost Ambatovy nickel joint venture in Madagascar.

Quarterly revenue was flat at C$380 million.

Ambatovy, which Sherritt co-owns with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp [SUMTME.UL], Korea Resources Corp and Canadian engineering company SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO), is expected to cost $4.5 billion to build.

It is forecast to eventually produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel and 5,600 tonnes of cobalt a year.

Sherritt said operational readiness activities at Ambatovy are well advanced in anticipation of commissioning activities that will begin later this year. (Reporting by Euan Rocha, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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