Anglo Pacific flags dividend uplift on rising earnings

An excellent first H1 2019 has prompted London-listed Anglo Pacific to increase its dividend.

Anglo Pacific Group's 2019 first-half revenue got a significant boost from the Kestrel coal mine in eastern Australia

Anglo Pacific Group's 2019 first-half revenue got a significant boost from the Kestrel coal mine in eastern Australia

"Given the strength of our results in the first half of the year, we would expect to increase the full-year dividend from 8p per share to a minimum of 9p per share, depending on market conditions and outlook in H219," chief executive Julian Treger said this week.

Anglo Pacific reported 64% higher revenue of £31.3 million in the first half, compared with the first six months of 2018, driven in part by the Kestrel coking coal mine in Queensland, Australia, as well as a higher than expected contribution from Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp (LIORC), owned 4.25% by Anglo Pacific.

The company's variable royalty on Kestrel output generated £22.69 million for the half - more than its entire revenue stream in the first half of 2018 (£19.1 million).

Anglo Pacific said the Narrabri coal mine in New South Wales, Australia, had recovered from geotechnical issues which previously hampered operations, with a 56% increase in revenue in the first half to £2.3 million.

The Maracas Menchen mine in Brazil was impacted by a significant decline in the vanadium price over the past year, but Anglo's 2% royalty still generated £1.78 million.

Anglo Pacific said its net assets increased 19% to £260.1 million, and its cash generated from operating activities increased 78% to £26.6 million,in the first half of 2019.

"We are pleased to report another period of strong organic growth in H119, with record revenue from Kestrel as the new owners appear to be on track to deliver their ambitions to increase production in 2019 by 40%," said Treger.

"Although Kestrel accounted for the majority of our revenue in H119 we were also pleased to see the revenue from our most recent acquisition, LIORC, outperform our expectations.

"We have increased our investment in LIORC by a further £10 million in the year to date, taking advantage of the recent decline in global equities in identifying an attractive entry point based on the current yield and our confidence in the iron ore pellet premium in the near-term.

"We continued to generate significant free cash flow during the period, which allowed us to repay our borrowings in full. The cash on-hand at the end of the period, when added to our available facilities, provides about US$100 million of liquidity to us, which is even more important in the context of short-term volatility in the capital markets."

Anglo Pacific's share price (LSE: APF) has dropped 20% since May to the current 180p, capitalising the company at £342.98 million.


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