3 Sep 2019 14:55

Highland Gold ups EBITDA 21% in H1, to pay dividend of GBP0.05/share

MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) - Highland Gold Mining Ltd., a UK-based company that mines gold in Russia, increased its EBITDA by 21% to $86.5 million in the first half of 2019, the company reported.

Analysts at BCS and VTB Capital had forecast that the company's EBITDA would only grow to $78-80 million.

HGM's net profit jumped 60% to $45.7 million.

Sales in natural terms grew 18%, to 142,600 ounces of gold equivalent. Revenue increased 19%, to $174.7 million.

Net debt grew 14.7%, to $216.9 million ($189.1 million a year before). Its ratio to EBITDA was 1.29x at the end of June, compared with 1.38x at the beginning of the year.

Highlights, $ mln unless otherwise specified:

H1 2019 H1 2018 Change
Sales, 'ooo oz of gold equivalent 142.609 121.174 17.7%
Revenue 174.676 146.897 18.9%
Operating profit 57.379 50.666 13.2%
Net profit 45.692 28.639 59.5%
EBITDA 86.541 71.424 21.2%
EBITDA margin 50% 49% + 1 pp
Net cash inflow from operations 72.566 65.700 10.5%
Capex 31.327 26.534 18%
TCC, $ per oz 540 536 0.7%
AISC, $ per oz 778 697 11.6%

The company confirmed its 2019 production forecast of 290,000-300,000 ounces of gold equivalent.

Highland Gold CEO Denis Alexandrov was quoted as saying, "We expect higher production levels and stronger operating cash flow in the second half, as well as continued progress on construction at our key development project, Kekura, and on our ongoing projects to improve operations at each of our existing mines."

The company will pay a dividend of GBP0.05 per share for the first half of 2019. Dividends will therefore total about $22 million, or approximately 30% of operating cash for the first half, which totalled $72.6 million. HGM's dividend policy calls for paying out 20% of this figure, but last year the company paid out 38%, or GBP0.06 per share for the first half.

The record date is September 13. Dividends will be paid on October 4.