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Polymetal declares higher interim dividend

Polymetal International (LSE:POLY) has declared an interim dividend of around US$77 million, or 17c per share, representing 50% of its underlying net income for the January-June period.
Polymetal declares higher interim dividend Polymetal declares higher interim dividend Polymetal declares higher interim dividend Polymetal declares higher interim dividend Polymetal declares higher interim dividend

Seasonally higher production and sales are expected in H2, especially from Svetloye (pictured) and Mayskoye

The interim dividend was up from 14c/share a year ago.

Polymetal previously paid a dividend of 30c/share in May, bringing the total dividend for the year so far to $213 million, or 47c/share, with the dividend yield at 4.7%.

Underlying net earnings January-June period increased 32% on the year to $155 million and net earnings were $175 million.

Polymetal's basic earnings per share for the six-month period were at 40c, up from 28c a year ago.

EBITDA for the half-year climbed 19% on the year to $305 million on higher production volumes and commodity prices, while the adjusted EBITDA margin increased by 1% to 39%.

CEO Vitaly Nesis said the strong earnings came on the back of solid operational delivery in the first half of the year.

The company produced 619,000oz of gold-equivalent during the half year, increasing 11% year-on-year. This included 446,000oz of gold, up 15%, while silver output was 1% lower at 12.7Moz.

Revenue for the half-year jumped 16% year-on-year to $789 million compared, boosted by gold-equivalent production growth of 11%.

Gold sales for the six-month period were 445,000 ounces, up 17% year-on-year, at an average realised price of $1,312 per ounce, up 6%.

Silver sales slipped 2% to 12.1 million ounces in line with production volume dynamics, with prices down 4% compared to H1 2017 at $15.6/oz.

Polymetal reported all-in sustaining cash costs (AISC) of $893/oz of gold-equivalent, down 1% year-on-year, with further declines expected in the second half of the year due to seasonally higher production and sales, especially at Mayskoye and Svetloye.

It said it remained on track to meet its 2018 production guidance of 1.55Moz of gold equivalent at an AISC of $875-925/oz gold equivalent, although warned the guidance was contingent on the rouble/US dollar exchange rate, which impacted its rouble-denominated operating costs.

The company's net debt increased to $1.6 billion at the end of June, up from $1.4 billion at the end of December 2017. It attributed this to a seasonal working capital increase, but said stronger production and a drawdown in traditional seasonal working capital should drive stronger free cash flow generation in the July-December period.

"We expect stronger production and free cash flow generation for the second half and remain focused on steadily progressing our further growth pipeline, including full ramp-up of Kyzyl, while generating meaningful dividends to our shareholders," Nesis said.

Polymetal's shares moved up slightly Tuesday after the results by 0.22% to £6.48 (US$8.31).