Anglo Gold Ashanti said its adjusted headline earnings rose to $228m in the last quarter of 2009 compared to the $162m predicted in 2009.

It credited an increase in output from its South American and Continental African operations for the rise.

Output for the quarter was 1.182 million ounces, ahead of guidance of 1.6 million ounces, the company said.

Strong currencies also played a part in the rise, with total cash costs of $598/oz marginally above the guidance of $590/oz thanks to operating currencies in South Africa, Australia and Brazil and non-cash deferred stripping charges.

The output from South African mines reduced by 7% to 448,000oz and costs rose by 10% to $575/oz owing to safety stoppages at mines in South Africa.

The company’s total gold production for 2009 reduced by 8% to 4.60 million ounces.

The miner has projected output for 2010 between 4.5 million ounces and 4.7 million ounces at a total cash cost of $590/oz – $615/oz.