10/26/2012 09:30 EDT | Updated 12/26/2012 05:12 EST

Eldorado's Q3 profit drops 26 per cent to US$75.8M on lower sales volume, prices

VANCOUVER - Eldorado Gold Corporation says profit attributable to shareholders fell by 26 per cent to US$75.8 million in the third quarter on lower volumes and prices for gold sold.

The Vancouver-based gold miner, which reports in U.S. dollars, says it earned 11 cents per share for the period ended Sept. 30, compared with 19 cents per share in the prior year when net earnings reached $102.5 million.

Total net earnings including those for non-controlling interests fell to $78.4 million from $100.7 million a year earlier.

Analysts had expected Eldorado would earn 12 cents per share.

Cash generated from operations fell to $110.8 million from $159.7 million in the 2011 quarter.

Revenues decreased 14 per cent to $281.8 million from $327.4 million in the year-ago period.

Eldorado (TSX:ELD) sold 154,841 ounces of gold in the quarter at an average cash operating cost of $493 per ounce. That doesn't include 10,524 ounces of pre-commercial production at its mine in Efemcukuru, Turkey. In the third quarter of 2011, it sold 179,513 ounces.

Despite lower sales in the quarter, the company maintained its guidance to sell 660,000 ounces of gold at cash operating costs of about $465 per ounce this year.

Brian Christie of Desjardins Capital Markets described the results as being in line with expectations, with production exceeding his estimate while costs were on target.

"We take a neutral stance on the quarter, given the financials were in line while operational results were mixed," he wrote in a research note.

Christie said the mines in Kisladag, Turkey, and Tanjianshan, China, were strong performers, while Jinfeng and White Mountain, both in China, missed his expectations.

Eldorado announced several changes in its executive offices in June, including naming chief operating officer Norm Pitcher as company president.

In February, the company closed a $2.5-billion takeover of European Goldfields Ltd., which owned 95 per cent of a lead, zinc and silver mine in Greece, and also has interests in Romania.

Eldorado is a gold producing, exploration and development company with operations in Turkey, China, Brazil, Greece and Romania.

Its shares were unchanged at C$14.04 in trading Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.