Interim dividend of 25 SA cents per share extends DRDGOLD’s dividend-paying record to 13th consecutive financial year
12 February 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa. Wednesday, 12 February 2020. DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD; JSE, NYSE: DRD) has declared a dividend of 25 South African cents per share for the six months ended 31 December 2019, following a six-fold increase in Group operating profit to R719.6 million from the six months ended 31 December 2018.
Key drivers for the improvement, says CEO Niël Pretorius, were a 33% increase in gold production to 3 037kg and a 26% rise in the average Rand gold price received to R697 125/kg.
Higher gold production was a consequence both of steady performance from the Group’s Ergo operation and of the first phase of its Far West Gold Recoveries (FWGR) operation reaching full throughput of 500 000tpm.
The latter also contributed the bulk of the Group’s 18% increase in total cash operating costs to R1 377.3 million.
Headline earning of R332.7 million (48.4 SA cents per share) were reported compared with a headline loss of R46.3 million (7.2 SA cents per share) in the previous period.
Reflecting on the impact of load-shedding by power utility Eskom and on an armed robbery at Ergo during the six months under review, then looking ahead to the rest of FY2020 and beyond, Pretorius says:
“We look forward to building on the solid performance from both Ergo and FWGR, and to further enhance our resilience to poor service delivery and crime. We are on track to meet the upper range of our FY2020 guidance for the Group as a whole and we will work hard to keep up the momentum.
“The work we have put in over the years in terms of social and natural value-add now stand us in good stead in developing our narrative in terms of the heightened awareness of ESG. We want increasingly to be associated with remediation and rolling back the environmental legacy of mining on the Witwatersrand.
“In terms of developing the potential of the business, we are moving full steam ahead on the studies required to realise Phase II of FWGR and it is our intention to also ‘start the conversation’ on our moving into the reprocessing of Platinum Group Metals (PGM) dumps.”
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