CHIEF executive Paul Dunne said the company remained committed to continuing to return to shareholders free cash not required in the advancement of the group’s ongoing growth programme. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA).
CHIEF executive Paul Dunne said the company remained committed to continuing to return to shareholders free cash not required in the advancement of the group’s ongoing growth programme. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA).

Northam to look at issuing dividends next year

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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NORTHAM Platinum will look at implementing a dividend policy in the coming year, given the share buy-back programme it conducted during the year ended June 2021, it said yesterday.

Chief executive officer Paul Dunne said the company remained committed to continuing to return to shareholders free cash not required in the advancement of the group’s ongoing growth programme.

“The board will look at implementing a dividend policy in the coming year,” said Dunne.

He said value could be returned to shareholders in a number of ways. “This includes cash dividends, but also includes share buy-backs and, previously, the purchase of Zambezi Preference Shares.”

Dunne said Northam’s Zambezi Preference Share acquisition strategy enabled the acceleration of the maturity and wind-up of the Zambezi empowerment transaction.

Northam reduced its issued share capital by 28.9 percent as part of winding up its Zambezi empowerment transaction, which was created in 2015 and returned R12 billion in value to shareholders.

In March the group announced a new empowerment transaction valued at R33bn, which provides a 23 percent stake in the firm to employees and surrounding communities.

Dunne said the Zambezi Preference Share acquisition strategy enabled the acceleration of the maturity and wind-up of the Zambezi black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction.

“The objective of accelerating the maturity and wind-up of the Zambezi BEE transaction was to permanently secure, unlock and transfer unencumbered value created within Zambezi and, in so doing, remove maturation risk for both Northam and Zambezi shareholders,” he said.

Financial highlights included the whopping 215 percent increase in normalised headline earnings of R10.9bn equating to R21.32 per share, and an operating profit of R16.1bn.

The group posted a 34.1 percent increase in production from its own operations during the year ended June 2021, saying it was on track to reach its medium-term annual target of 1 million ounces of 4E.

It said equivalent refined metal from its own operations grew by 34.1 percent to 690 867 ounce 4E. This was despite the ongoing phased restart of operations, particularly impacting the conventional Zondereinde mine, where all mining crews had only fully returned to work by the end of March 2021.

“Group chrome concentrate production also increased, breaching one million tons for the first time. This comes off the back of higher concentrator throughput and improved yields at the Booysendal and Zondereinde mines,” said the group.

It said production growth across the group and favourable rand-denominated PGM prices were expected to positively impact free cash-flow generation in the short to medium-term, which the group was committed to return to shareholders in the future.

“The group’s strategy is unchanged. We remain single-minded in our commitment to creating sustainable value for all of the group’s stakeholders and will continue to be bold, proactive and transparent in pursuing this,” it said.

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