International Royalty Corporation reports 2008 annual results



    NYSE-A:ROY
    TSX:IRC

    DENVER, CO, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - International Royalty Corporation
(NYSE Alternext US: ROY, TSX: IRC) (the "Company", or "IRC") today reported
its fourth quarter and fiscal 2008 financial results. All figures are in
United States dollars unless noted otherwise.

    Financial Highlights

    Royalty revenues for 2008 decreased 16% to $41.7 million, as compared to
$49.9 million for 2007. Royalty revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 were
$9.0 million, compared to $12.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The
decrease in revenues was primarily driven by a decline in the Voisey's Bay
royalty revenue due to a lower realized nickel price of $9.93 per pound in
2008 compared to $16.63 per pound in 2007, that was partially offset by an
increase in payable nickel production from 127.9 million pounds in 2007 to
163.6 million pounds in 2008.
    Cash flow from operations was $22.3 million, or $0.28 per share, for 2008
as compared to $23.0 million or $0.34 per share for 2007. For the fourth
quarter of 2008, cash flow from operations was $12.2 million or $0.16 per
share, compared to $8.3 million or $0.12 per share in the fourth quarter of
2007.
    Earnings from operations fell to $2.4 million, or $0.03 per share, for
2008 from $19.1 million, or $0.28 per share, in 2007. The decrease from 2007
to 2008 was due primarily to impairment charges on the Avebury royalty
interest ($6.1 million) and on one of IRC's long-term investments ($833,000)
in the fourth quarter of 2008. During the third quarter of 2008, IRC also
recorded an impairment of five diamond properties totaling $813,000 and an
impairment of a long-term asset of $839,000.
    Loss from operations, after impairments, for the fourth quarter of 2008
was $5.6 million, or $0.07 per share, compared to earnings from operations of
$3.0 million, or $0.04 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.
    Net loss during the fourth quarter of 2008 was $662,000, or $0.01 per
share, compared to net earnings of $5.3 million, or $0.07 per share, in the
fourth quarter of 2007. The decrease is due to a decline in Voisey's Bay
royalty revenues due to a lower realized nickel price of $6.33 per pound in
the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to $13.87 per pound in the fourth quarter
of 2007 and impairments of $6.9 million. The fourth quarter of 2008 was
positively impacted by a $4.5 million foreign currency gain.
    Net earnings for 2008 were $3.1 million, or $0.04 per share, compared to
$11.2 million or $0.16 per share in 2007.
    Payable production from the Voisey's Bay royalty was 42.0 million pounds
of nickel, 65.3 million pounds of copper and 1.8 million pounds of cobalt in
concentrate for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to 33.8 million, 42.2
million and 1.5 million pounds, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2007.

    Business Development Activities in the Fourth Quarter of 2008

    On October 9, 2008, the Company acquired three additional royalties on
the Pinson gold project in Nevada, United States. The Company paid $2.85
million in cash for a 16.842% share of the variable (0.5% to 5.0%) net smelter
returns ("NSR") Rayrock royalty and a 40% share of the Cordilleran 3.0% and
5.0% NSR royalties ("Cordex"). With this purchase, the Company owns 97.9% of
the Rayrock royalty and 100% of the Cordex royalties, the two largest
royalties covering the currently known Pinson resource.
    In order to mitigate the foreign currency fluctuation related to the
Senior Secured Debentures ("Debentures"), on November 25, 2008, the Company
entered into an agreement with a bank to fix the exchange rate to repay the
principal balance of the Debentures at CA$1.00 to US$0.834725.

    Developments on Existing Royalties

    In January 2009, Vale Inco reached a new operating agreement with the
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador which included limiting shipments of
nickel in concentrate to an average of 55,000 tonnes per year through 2013.
Despite the decrease in expected production levels from 2008, this production
rate will be more in line with the original mining plan of 2004. There are no
limits on copper and cobalt concentrates. Actual shipments of nickel in
concentrate totalled 74,219 tonnes in 2008; 58,023 tonnes in 2007; and 30,424
tonnes in 2006. Due to the lower production levels and the lower nickel and
copper prices, management expects the 2009 revenues, amortization and royalty
tax expense to decrease from 2007 and 2008.
    St Barbara Limited, operating in Western Australia, started production at
its Gwalia Deeps underground gold project in the fourth quarter of 2008 at an
initial annual rate of 100,000 ounces per year of gold and is expected to ramp
up to 200,000 ounces per year within 18 months. The Company holds a 1.5% NSR
royalty on Gwalia Deeps. Production at the Gwalia Deeps project for 2008
totalled 20,000 ounces.
    In the third quarter of 2008, OZ Minerals Ltd. began production at its
Avebury nickel project in Tasmania, Australia. The first sales occurred in
August 2008 and IRC recorded its first royalty payment in the third quarter of
2008. On December 19, 2008, OZ Minerals announced that it has put the Avebury
nickel mine on care and maintenance until further notice due to current market
conditions and the low nickel prices. As a result of the temporary closure and
newly released reserves which use a higher cutoff grade resulting in less
contained nickel, IRC recorded an impairment totaling $6.1 million in the
fourth quarter of 2008.
    In the fourth quarter of 2007, Mercator Gold Plc ("Mercator") began gold
production at its Meekatharra operations in Western Australia at an expected
initial rate of 120,000 ounces per year. Production began in the Yaloginda
project area, where the Company owns a 0.45% NSR royalty and was expected to
expand into the Paddy's Flat project area in 2009, with a royalty rate of
1.5%. Production in the Yaloginda project area for 2008 totalled 39,000
ounces. In October 2008, Mercator was placed in voluntary administration;
however, Mercator is currently under a Deed of Arrangement with a potential
purchaser of its assets. If sold, the mine will remain subject to IRC's
royalty.
    In the second quarter of 2009, production is expected to begin at Inmet
Mining Corporation's Las Cruces copper project in Spain on which the Company
holds a 1.5% NSR royalty. Production at Las Cruces is planned to be 72,000
tonnes per year of cathode copper over the life-of-mine.(1)

    
    References:

    1. Inmet Mining Corporation Investor Presentation, BMO Capital Markets
       2009 Global Metals & Mining Conference, 2/23/09

    Summary of Financial Information:

    ($ thousands, except per          Three Months Ended       Year Ended
     share data)                           December 31,        December 31,
                                     -------------------  -------------------
                                          2008      2007      2008      2007
                                     --------- ---------  --------- ---------
    Statement of Operations
     Royalty revenues                   $9,035   $12,734   $41,719   $49,857
     Earnings (loss) from operations    (5,602)    2,973     2,362    19,126
     Net earnings (loss)                  (662)    5,275     3,136    11,233
     Basic earnings (loss) per share:
       Earnings (loss) from
        operations                      $(0.07)    $0.04     $0.03     $0.28
       Net earnings (loss)               (0.01)    $0.07     $0.04     $0.16
     Diluted earnings (loss) per
      share:
       Earnings (loss) from
        operations                      $(0.07)    $0.04     $0.03     $0.27
       Net earnings (loss)               (0.01)    $0.07     $0.04     $0.16

    Statement of Cash Flows
     Cash provided from operating
      activities                       $12,167    $8,319   $22,338   $23,025
     Basic cash flow per share           $0.16     $0.12     $0.28     $0.34
     Diluted cash flow per share         $0.15     $0.12     $0.28     $0.33


    Payable production and revenues on the Company's royalties and average
metal prices received were as follows:

                           Production and Revenue

                                          Quarter Ended         Year Ended
                                            December 31,       December 31,
                                     -------------------  -------------------
    Mine        Commodity    Royalty      2008      2007      2008      2007
    -------------------------------- -------------------  -------------------

    Total Payable Metal Production (1)

     Voisey's Bay  Nickel   2.7% NSR    42,014    33,763   163,624   127,918
                   Copper   2.7% NSR    65,308    42,179   145,410    89,504
                   Cobalt   2.7% NSR     1,759     1,540     7,205     5,521

     Southern
      Cross          Gold   1.5% NSR        41        46       152       166

                  Thermal
     Skyline         Coal      1.413       805         -     1,093         -

     Avebury       Nickel   2.0% NSR     2,647         -     3,938         -

     Williams        Gold  0.25% NSR        31        43       131       209

     Gwalia Deeps    Gold   1.5% NSR        20         -        20         -
    -------------------------------- -------------------  -------------------


    Revenue (thousands)

     Voisey's Bay                      $ 7,673  $ 12,056  $ 38,194  $ 47,660
     Southern Cross                        506       541     2,001     1,733
     Skyline                               324         -       447         -
     Avebury                               186         -       300         -
     Williams                               63        85       289       360
     Gwalia Deeps                          252         -       252         -
     Other                                  31        52       236       104
                                     -------------------  -------------------

                                       $ 9,035   $12,734   $41,719   $49,857
                                     -------------------  -------------------
                                     -------------------  -------------------

    (1) Gold is in thousands of ounces; thermal coal is in thousands of
        tonnes; nickel, copper and cobalt are in thousands of contained
        pounds in concentrate. Silver ounces are converted to gold ounce
        equivalents by dividing silver revenue by the average price of gold
        during the period.

    Average metal prices realized

                                          Quarter Ended         Year Ended
                                           December 31,        December 31,
                                     -------------------  -------------------
                                          2008      2007      2008      2007
                                     -------------------  -------------------
    Gold, per ounce                      $ 813     $ 788     $ 869     $ 696
    Nickel, per pound (1)                 6.33     13.87      9.93     16.63
    Copper, per pound (1)                 1.97      3.59      2.47      3.38
    Cobalt, per pound (1)                18.53     32.59     34.59     28.10
    Thermal coal, per tonne              28.49         -     28.95         -

    (1) Before transportation, smelting and refining costs.
    

    Complete financial results are available on SEDAR and on the Company's
website at www.internationalroyalty.com.
    The Company will host its Fiscal 2008 Results conference call on Friday,
February 27, 2009 at 10:30 AM (EST) / 8:30 AM (MST).
    To participate in the conference call, please dial 416-644-3422 or North
American toll free 1-800-731-5319, at least five minutes prior to the
scheduled start of the call.
    A replay of the conference call will be available as of 12:30 PM (EST) /
10:30 AM (MST) February 27, 2009 to March 6, 2009. Please dial 1-877-289-8525
and enter the following access code 21299058 #.

    International Royalty Corporation
    ---------------------------------

    International Royalty Corporation (IRC) is a global mineral-royalty
company. IRC holds more than 85 royalties including an effective 2.7% NSR on
the Voisey's Bay mine, a sliding-scale NSR on the Pascua gold project in
Chile, a 1.5% NSR on the Las Cruces copper project in Spain and a 1.5% NSR on
approximately 3.0 million acres of gold lands in Western Australia. IRC is
senior listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:IRC) as well as the NYSE
Alternext U.S. (NYSE-A:ROY). IRC invites you to participate in its conference
call to discuss the year-end results.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors,
    INTERNATIONAL ROYALTY CORPORATION

    Douglas B. Silver
    Chairman and CEO


    Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Some of the statements contained in this document are forward-looking
statements, such as statements that describe IRC's future plans, intentions,
objectives or goals, and specifically include but are not limited to IRC's
expectations as to the increase in production at Gwalia Deeps, production
start dates for the Belahouro, Las Cruces and Pascua projects on which IRC has
royalties. In certain cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by
the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "does not expect", "is expected",
"budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates",
"does not anticipate", "believes" or variations of such words and phrases, or
words that state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could",
"would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Since
forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact and address
future events, conditions and expectations, forward-looking statements
inherently involve unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors
well beyond the Company's ability to control or predict. Actual results and
developments may differ materially from those contemplated by such
forward-looking statements depending on, among others, such key factors as the
prices of the underlying commodities in IRC's portfolio and the ability of the
mine operators to finance and successfully place their projects into
production. IRC's forward-looking statements in this document regarding the
anticipated timing of the start of production on several of the projects on
which it has royalties is based on certain assumptions. Such assumptions
include, but are not limited to, the validity of statements made by the
project operators in the public domain, and their ability to finance,
construct and successfully operate these properties. The forward-looking
statements included in this document represent IRC's views as of the date of
this document and subsequent events and developments may cause IRC's views to
change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as
representing IRC's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this
document. Although IRC has attempted to identify important factors that could
cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those
described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause
actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.
Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking
statements.




For further information:

For further information: Jack Perkins, Director of Investor Relations,
(303) 991-9500; Douglas B. Silver, Chairman and CEO, (303) 799-9020,
info@internationalroyalty.com; www.internationalroyalty.com; Renmark Financial
Communications Inc.: Barbara Komorowski, bkomorowski@renmarkfinancial.com; Jen
Power, jpower@renmarkfinancial.com; Montreal: (514) 939-3989, Fax: (514)
939-3717; Toronto: (416) 644-2020, Fax: (416) 644-2021;
www.renmarkfinancial.com

Organization Profile

INTERNATIONAL ROYALTY CORPORATION

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890