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VANCOUVER, British Columbia,
March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
TSX: SLW NYSE: SLW
Silver Wheaton Corp. ("Silver Wheaton" or the "Company") (TSX:SLW) (NYSE:SLW) is pleased to announce its audited results for the fourth quarter and year ended
December 31, 2012. All figures are presented in
United States dollars unless otherwise noted.
FULL YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
Fourth consecutive year of record attributable silver equivalent production of 29.6 million ounces compared to 25.4 million ounces in 2011, representing an increase of 17%.
Record silver equivalent sales of 27.3 million ounces compared to 21.1 million ounces in 2011, representing an increase of 30%.
Record revenues of $849.6 million compared to $730.0 million in 2011, representing a 16% increase.
Record net earnings of $586.0 million ( $1.66 per share) compared to $550.0 million ( $1.56 per share) in 2011, representing a 7% increase.
Record operating cash flows of $719.4 million ( $2.03 per share ) compared to $626.4 million ( $1.77 per share ) in 2011, representing a 15% increase.
Cash operating margin  of $26.79 per silver equivalent ounce, compared to $30.56 in 2011, representing a 12% decrease.
Average cash costs  rose to $4.30 per silver equivalent ounce, compared to $4.09 in 2011, representing a 5% increase.
In August 2012, acquired from Hudbay Minerals Inc. ("Hudbay") a precious metals stream from its currently producing 777 mine ("777") and a silver stream from its cornerstone development project, Constancia.
During 2012, Silver Wheaton paid $123.9 million in dividends ( $0.35 per share) compared to $63.6 million in 2011 ( $0.18 per share), representing a 95% increase.
FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
Record attributable silver equivalent production of 8.5 million ounces compared to 6.9 million ounces in Q4 2011 and 7.7 million ounces in Q3 2012, representing an increase of 22% and 10%, respectively.
Record silver equivalent sales of 9.1 million ounces compared to 6.0 million ounces in Q4 2011 and 5.1 million ounces in Q3 2012, representing an increase of 53% and 78%, respectively.
Record revenues of $287.2 million compared to $191.9 million in Q4 2011, representing a 50% increase.
Record net earnings of $177.7 million ( $0.50 per share) compared to $144.7 million ( $0.41 per share) in Q4 2011, representing a 23% increase.
Record operating cash flows of $254.0 million ( $0.72 per share ) compared to $163.7 million ( $0.46 per share ) in Q4 2011, representing a 55% increase.
Cash operating margin  of $26.76 per silver equivalent ounce, compared to $28.06 in Q4 2011, representing a 5% decrease.
Average cash costs  rose to $4.70 per silver equivalent ounce, compared to $4.06 per silver equivalent ounce in Q4 2011, representing a 16% increase, driven primarily by higher costs associated with silver and gold from the Hudbay 777 mine ( $5.90 and $400 per ounce of silver and gold, respectively).
Declared quarterly dividend of $0.14 per common share, representing 20% of the cash generated by operating activities during the three months ended December 31, 2012.
Silver Wheaton anticipates a 13% year over year increase in its 2013 attributable production to approximately 33.5 million silver equivalent ounces, including 145 thousand ounces of gold.
In 2017, the Company forecasts 53 million ounces of silver equivalent production (including 180 thousand ounces of gold), which represents an increase of 79% from 2012.
The acquisition of the Salobo and Sudbury gold streams from Vale S.A. ("Vale") subsequent to December 31, 2012, is expected to double Silver Wheaton's attributable gold production over the next five years. Coupled with a full year of attributable production from Hudbay's 777 mine, acquired in August 2012, these cornerstone assets will drive the company's production growth in 2013.
As per the Company's news release dated March 19, 2013, attributable silver and gold reserves increased to 851.4 million ounces and 4.96 million ounces, respectively, as a result of organic and acquisition growth, inclusive of the acquisition of gold streams from Vale's Salobo and Sudbury mines. Based on reserve estimates as at December 31, 2012, following the Vale transaction, silver equivalent reserves attributable to Silver Wheaton have grown to 1.12 billion ounces .