The in-depth report highlights increased manganese and aluminum production.
Australian diversified miner, South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32,JSE:S32), has released its financial results and outlook for the rest of 2018. The in-depth report highlights increased manganese and aluminum production.
As quoted from the press release:
The key factors that impacted financial performance included:
- A US$349M increase in the contribution of our alumina refineries to Underlying EBITDA and a 10 percent increase in their combined pperating margin to 40 percent as we benefited from our long alumina position and our exposure to market prices for the vast majority of production;
- A 10 percent increase in total manganese ore production, including record production at Australia manganese, as we continued to respond to strong demand and pricing;
- Record production at Mozal aluminium, as the smelter continued to test its technical capacity;
- A 20 percent increase in payable nickel production at Cerro Matoso as ore grades improved temporarily following the ramp up of La Esmeralda;
- A 40 percent decrease in Illawarra Metallurgical Coal production as the Appin colliery was suspended for much of H1 FY18 as we sought to re-establish minimum performance criteria; and
- Strong cost control as the majority of our upstream operations achieved Operating unit cost guidance, despite broader inflationary pressure.
“Our strong financial position allowed us to return US$946M to shareholders in respect of the period. This included payment of a US$221M fully franked interim dividend and declaration of a US$317M fully franked final dividend in accordance with our dividend policy. A further US$408M was returned to shareholders as part of our ongoing US$1B capital management program with the remaining US$380M balance expected to be returned to shareholders in the 2019 financial year. Looking ahead, we are well positioned. Group production is expected to rise by 5 percent in the 2019 financial year, further productivity gains and functional cost savings are expected to mitigate industry wide inflationary pressure and we have added high quality development options to our portfolio,” said Graham Kerr, CEO of South32.