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BENGUET REPORTS THIRD QUARTER LOSS

 MANDALUYONG, Metro Manila, Philippines, Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- Benguet Corporation (NYSE: BE) released its report for the third quarter with consolidated results showing a net loss for the quarter amounting to P103,900,000 (US $4,137,000) or P0.91 (US $0.036) per share compared with net earnings for the same quarter in 1991 of P25,100,000 (US $934,000) or P0.22 (US $0.008) per share. For the first nine-month period this year, the company's operations resulted in a net loss of P58,300,000 (US $2,321,000) or P0.51 (US $0.020) per share, as compared with the net earnings of P141,100,000 (US $5,241,000) or P1.24 (US $0.046) per share for the same period last year.
 Operating revenues this quarter amounted to P752,100,000 (US $29,942,000), 5 percent lower than the revenues of P794,600,000 for the third quarter of 1991. For the nine-month period this year, revenues also decreased to P2,706,100,000 (US $107,726,000) from P2,785,000,000 for the same period last year.
 In the third quarter this year, the Dizon mine was affected by successive typhoons that dumped 124 inches of rain on the mine. It incurred a net loss of P1,000,000 (US $40,000), compared with the net earnings of P30,600,000 for the same quarter in 1991. The first phase of the crushing plant expansion is nearing completion, which is expected to resolve the problem of hard ore currently besetting the Dizon mine, and to increase monthly production tonnage.
 The Benguet Antamok mine incurred a net loss of P45,100,000 (US $1,797,000) this quarter and P33,500,000 (US $1,335,000) for the nine-month period this year. The typhoons and low gold prices contributed to the loss.
 Due to continuing losses from the Benguet underground gold mines an orderly phase out of the Benguet Gold Operations towards complete cessation of operations by first quarter of 1993 took effect starting Nov. 13, 1992. For the meantime, the mine's facilities and structures will be maintained. The Paracale's underground operations remain suspended during this quarter; the open pit and tails buying operations reported lower losses.
 A 64 percent reduction in shipment volume increased the Masinloc chromite mine's net loss in the third quarter of this year to P7,900,000 (US $316,000) from the net loss of P260,000 in 1991. For the nine-month period, net loss amounted to P14,900,000 (US $592,000), as compared with the net earnings of P2,600,000 for the same period in 1991.
 Benguet Management Corporation, 100 percent owned by the company, and subsidiaries reported a consolidated net loss of P9,100,000 (US $362,000) for the third quarter, 53 percent lower than the loss of P19,200,000 in 1991. Losses for the year to date amounted to P22,400,000 (US $891,000), 44 percent lower than the losses of P39,800,000 in 1991. The losses were mainly carried over from the losses of the company's subsidiary, the Philippines Cocoa Estates Corporation.
 BenguetCorp International Limited (BIL), a 100 percent-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong, and subsidiaries reported a consolidated net loss of P3,200,000 (US $125,000) for the third quarter, compared with the net earnings of P1,600,000 for the same quarter in 1991. For the nine-month period, losses amounted to P7,500,000 (US $297,000), compared with the net earnings of P4,800,000 in 1991. BenguetCorp Canada Ltd., a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of BIL, has withdrawn as manager of a silver mine in Ecuador.
 Itogon-Suyoc Mines, Inc. a 54 percent-owned subsidiary, reported a net loss of P4,300,000 (US $172,000) this quarter, compared with the net loss of P2,700,000 for the same quarter in 1991. For the nine-month period, net loss amount to P5,000,000 (US $199,000), compared with earnings of P1,300,000 in 1991.
 Petrofields Exploration & Development Co., Inc., a 39 percent- owned affiliate company, reported earnings of P4,000,000 (US $159,000) this quarter and P6,400,000 (US $257,000) for the year to date, mainly from its 4 percent participating interest in the operation of the West Linapacan oilfields in Northwest Palawan which commenced commercial lifting in June 1992. For the same period in 1991, Petrofields reported earnings, mainly from interest, of P130,000 and P1,300,000, respectively.
 EEI Corporation, formerly Engineering Equipment, Inc., a 34 percent-owned affiliate company, and subsidiaries reported consolidated net earnings of P36,300,000 (US $1,447,000) this quarter, 64 percent higher than the net earnings of P22,200,000 for the same quarter in 1991, mainly from manpower supply operation in Kuwait. For the nine-month period, net earnings amounted to P117,100,000 (US $4,662,000), 259 percent higher than the earnings of P32,600,000 in 1991.
 AsianBank Corporation and AB Capital & Investment Corporation, both 28 percent owned by the company, reported earnings this quarter of P10,000,000 (US $399,000) and P20,600,000 (US $820,000), respectively, compared with the earnings of P16,700,000 and P13,400,000 for the same quarter in 1991. For the nine-month period, earnings amounted to P57,400,000 (US $2,287,000) and P85,200,000 (US $3,394,000), respectively, compared with earnings of P59,500,000 and P50,500,000 for the same period in 1991.
 Monte de Piedad and Savings Bank, 20 percent-owned affiliate company, reported earnings of P17,900,000 (US $713,000) this quarter and P34,700,000 (US $1,381,000) for the nine-month period, compared with earnings of P9,600,000 and P12,300,000 for the same respective period in 1991.
 As of the end of the third quarter, the company's refund claims for Value Added Tax (VAT) amount to about P264 million on gold sold to the Philippines Central Bank which is under litigation and P252 million on direct exports which are subject only to administrative review of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
 To date, 65 confirmatory drill holes have been completed on the Kingking claims located in Pantukan, Davao del Norte. Based on preliminary geostatistical study, using 0.20 percent copper cutoff, the Kingking claims are believed to hold an estimated potential of 293 million tonnes containing an average grade of 0.38 percent copper and 0.502 grams of gold per tonne, of which 87 million tonnes are oxides containing 0.442 percent copper and 0.555 grams of gold per tonne and 206 million tonnes are sulfides and mixed ore containing 0.36 percent copper and 0.479 grams of gold per tonne. A preliminary feasibility study is being conducted to determine the viability of mining the deposit.
 No cash dividends were declared for this year.
 Although the company should see improvements by the fourth quarter from the Dizon Copper-Gold Operation and the Benguet Antamok Gold Operation, it is expected that losses from mining operations would continue up to the end of this year.
 The review and reevaluation of the company's real properties and portfolio investments have been completed. The program to dispose some of these properties to liquidate a substantial part of the company's outstanding debt and significantly reduce its interest burden is underway.
 BENGUET CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 In Thousands (Except Per Share Data)
 Three Months Ended
 Sept. 30,
 PHILIPPINES PESOS 1992 1991
 Operating Revenue P 752,100 P 794,600
 Operating Profit (Loss) (136,100) (46,200)
 Other Income
 (Expenses) - Net 32,200 71,300
 Net Income (a) (P 103,900) P 25,100
 Earnings (Loss)
 Per Share (b) (P 0.91) P 0.22 0.18
 U.S. DOLLARS (c)
 Operating Revenue $ 29,942 $ 29,521
 Operating Profit (Loss) (5,417) (1,717)
 Other Income
 (Expenses) - Net 1,280 2,651
 Net Income (Loss) (a) ($ 4,137) $ 934
 Earnings Per Share (b) ($ 0.036) $ 0.008
 Nine Months Ended
 Sept. 30,
 PHILIPPINES PESOS 1992 1991
 Operating Revenue P 2,706,100 P 2,785,000
 Operating Profit (Loss)( 42,900) 258,500
 Other Income
 (Expenses) - Net ( 15,400) ( 117,400)
 Net Income (Loss) (a) (P 58,300) P 141,100
 Earnings (Loss)
 Per Share (b) (P 0.51) P 1.24
 U.S. DOLLARS (c)
 Operating Revenue $ 107,726 $ 103,462
 Operating Profit (Loss)( 1,707) 9,604
 Other Income
 (Expenses) - Net ( 614) ( 4,363)
 Net Income (Loss) (a) ($ 2,321) $ 5,241
 Earnings (Loss)
 Per Share (c) ($ 0.020) $ 0.046
 (a) Deferred income tax is computed on a partial application basis, while unrealized foreign exchange losses are deferred and amortized to coincide with the actual repayment of outstanding currency obligations. The effect of these methods is to decrease net loss by P25,400,000 (US $1,011,000) for the third quarter and for the first nine months of 1992. In 1991, the effect is to increase net income for the third quarter by P1,200,000 (US $44,000) but to decrease net income for the nine months by P200,000 (US $6,000).
 (b) Earnings per share are based on the weighted average number of common shares outstanding.
 (c) Benguet is a Philippines corporation and its books of accounts are kept
in Philippines pesos. U.S. dollar figures are shown purely for convenience and were computed based on the interbank guiding rate at Sept. 30 of P25.12 to US $1.00 in 1992 (P26.92 to US $1.00 in 1991).
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: Robert V. Schnabel, U.S. counsel, for Benguet, 202-638-2241~
 (BE)


CO: Benguet Corporation ST: IN: MNG SU: ERN

DC -- DC003 -- 0959 11~24~92 10:18 EST
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