This document contains forward-looking statements. Please refer to the cautionary language under the heading "CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION" below.
Profitability was down from the same period last year as prices for copper and steelmaking coal have declined. Coal prices were down 28% from a year ago while copper was down 5% from the same period. Substantially higher coal sales volumes in the quarter partly offset the weaker prices. These declines have reduced our revenue by approximately $440 million based on 2013 sales volumes.
In order to counteract the effect of these price declines on our operating margins, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2012, we put in place a program aimed at containing and reducing our production costs at our existing operations. This program encompasses both sustainable cost reduction programs initiated by management and one-time cost saving actions. To date, we have identified sustainable annualized savings of approximately $200 million and a further $75 million of one-time savings and deferrals, which has exceeded our initial goals. The effect of these initiatives is beginning to show in our quarterly results, but the full effect is expected to be realized over the balance of the year.
Our site production costs are down by approximately $100 million compared to our quarterly production costs last year, excluding the effect of labour agreements. Operating unit costs for coal have fallen significantly from the fourth quarter of 2012, while copper unit costs have reduced slightly despite significantly lower grades and production.
It should also be noted that 2012 comparative figures have been adjusted to reflect a change in International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") regarding stripping costs in the production plans of a surface mine. Prior to the change, there was no standard in IFRS on this matter and we followed the standard that existed under Canadian GAAP, which limited capitalization of such costs. The change should improve conformity and comparability between mining companies subject to IFRS and places us on the same footing as our international peers, most of whom previously followed similar capitalization practices as the new standard.
Our finance costs were also down 40% compared to a year ago. This was the result of lower effective interest rates resulting from our debt refinancing transactions undertaken last year and the effect of increased interest capitalization.
We continue to advance our internal growth projects, however, ongoing Social and Community Impact Assessment requirements at Quebrada Blanca may further delay the start date for construction.
Profit and Adjusted Profit(i)
Adjusted profit, which excludes the effect of certain transactions described in the table below, was $328 million, or $0.56 per share, in the first quarter of 2013 compared with $544 million, or $0.93 per share, in the same period a year ago. The lower adjusted profit was primarily due to substantially lower coal prices, despite stronger sales volumes compared with the same period a year ago. In addition, the year-over-year change in pricing adjustments negatively affected our after-tax profit by $70 million, as significant positive price adjustments were recognized in 2012 as a result of rising metal prices.
Profit attributable to shareholders was $319 million, or $0.55 per share, in the first quarter compared with $258 million or $0.44 per share in the same period last year. Profit last year was affected by a $329 million after-tax charge related to the refinancing of a portion of our debt.
Three months ended March 31,($ in millions) 2013 2012----------------------------------------------------------------------------Profit attributable to shareholders as reported $ 319 $ 258Add (deduct): Derivative (gains) losses (2) (59) Financing charges related to debt refinancing transactions - 329 Other (note 1) 11 16 ----------------------Adjusted profit $ 328 $ 544 ----------------------Adjusted earnings per share $ 0.56 $ 0.93 ----------------------1. Includes foreign exchange, asset sale gains and losses, and one-time collective agreement charges.