(Updates with stock movements and Fresnillo's expectations for 2018.)
By Oliver Griffin
Shares in silver-and-gold miner Fresnillo PLC (FRES.LN) fell Tuesday after the Mexico-based company said that 2018 is set to be a challenging year.
The mining company said it expects inflationary pressures will increase this year, and that it is uncertain as to whether precious metals prices have bottomed out or will continue to drift.
Mexico's 2018 general election will bring unwelcome volatility to exchange rates, Fresnillo said.
The company said that net profit for the year ended Dec. 31 rose 31% to $560.8 million from $427 million in 2016. Pretax profit increased 3.2% to $741.5 million, while revenue grew 9% to $2.09 billion, the company said.
Fresnillo declared a final dividend of 29.8 cents a share, up from the 2016 final dividend of 21.5 cents a share.
The company, which in January reported that it produced 58.7 million ounces of silver in 2017, forecast silver production in 2018 in a range between 67 million ounces and 70 million ounces.
Gold production for 2018 is forecast to be in a range of 870,000 ounces and 900,000 ounces, the company said.
Shares at 0941 GMT were down 3.2% at 1,290 pence a share.
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