13 Nov 2017 16:15

Polymetal investment program won't affect ability to pay dividends - CEO

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) - Polymetal's investment program will not affect its ability to pay dividends, the gold and silver miner's CEO, Vitaly Nesis, responding to questions from investors.

Polymetal announced its latest capex estimates for two projects; the development of the Nezhda field totaling $249 million and $400 million for second stage of the Amursk POX hub. Investment decisions for both projects are due next year

The company also increased planned capex for 2018-2019. The company is planning to allocate $370 million in capex in 2018, the same as in 2017, and $300 million in capex in 2019, assuming a positive investment decision to develop the Nezhda field.

"We are distributing this $650 million over four years. We do not expect this additional capex to significantly impact on our dividend policy. If the price of gold stays at $1200 per ounce, and we don't start new, even more ambitious investment projects, which is unlikely, it certainly isn't worth worrying about our ability to pay regular dividends," Nesis said.

"Dividends are first and foremost, and then we look at our opportunities for new investment," he said.

According to the dividend policy confirmed in March, Polymetal will allocate regular dividends of 50% of adjusted net profit if net debt/EBITDA is under 2.5x.

Total dividend payments in 2016 were $179 million including special dividends.