LONDON (Alliance News) - Gold and base metal explorer Stratex International PLC Thursday said it swung to a pretax loss in the first half of the year after last year's result was boosted by asset sale gains, but its operating loss narrowed slightly as it cut administrative expenses.
The company, which has assets in Turkey and east and west Africa, reported a pretax loss of GBP1.4 million in the six months to June 30, compared with the GBP733,668 profit it reported a year earlier when it booked a GBP2.5 million gain on the sale of the Inlice project and the transfer of a 55% stake in the Altintepe Madencilik project to create a joint venture.
Its operating loss narrowed to GBP1.26 million, from a GBP1.34 million, as it cut administration expenses to GBP1.3 million, from GBP1.7 million. It didn't earn any revenue in the first six months of 2014, while it had booked GBP123,753 in revenue a year earlier.
Still, it says it now needs more senior staff.
"Mindful as always of controlling costs, we continuously review our overheads and exploration costs and seek ways to operate more efficiently. However, the management team is small and stretched, even within our chosen 3-hour time zone and we are looking to strengthen the team with some additional senior management capability," it said in a statement.
"This will enable us to take Stratex into the next phase of its development with consistent cash flow, underpinning our own exploration initiatives. It will also assist in the search for new opportunities where our demonstrably successful business model can be applied to the further benefit of shareholders," it added.
It had nearly GBP7.4 million in cash at the end of June, and expects to start earnings cash flow from its Altintepe gold project in Turkey in 2015 and from its Oksut gold project, also in Turkey, in 2016.
Last month, Stratex said it would buy up to 33.4% of African gold exploration company Goldstone Resources Ltd for GBP1.3 million .Goldstone has significant interests in an advanced exploration project in Ghana called Homase/Akrokeri, and also holds the Sangola exploration project in Senegal, approximately 100 kilometres west of Stratex's Dalafin project, and two earlier stage projects in Gabon.
"We look forward to working with Goldstone management to develop an economic resource incorporating these and possibly other nearby deposits, as well as looking for other opportunities in Ghana. Goldstone also has the Sangola project in Senegal, where there may be synergies with Dalafin, and two early-stage exploration licences in Gabon where the potential needs to be more fully evaluated before committing to further work," Stratex Chairman Christopher Hall said in Thursday's earnings statement.
Stratex International shares were up 0.7% at 2.87 pence Thursday morning.