South32 building options for growth

SOUTH32 has boosted its returns to shareholders as it opts for earlier stage business development opportunities over large-scale M&A.

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Graham Kerr addresses the MMC event in London: South32 wants to build 'optionality' in portfolio

The company posted a December 2017 half-year profit after tax of US$543 million, with underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $10.8 billion and an EBITDA margin of 35.7%.

South32 will pay an interim dividend of 4.3c per share, fully franked, and a special dividend of 3c per share (franked to 81%) for total dividends of $378 million.

The company also increased its capital management program by $250 million to $1 billion, leaving $540 million to be returned to shareholders by April 2019.

At the end of 2017, South32 had a net cash balance of $1.4 billion.

South32 CEO Graham Kerr told reporters that the company continued to identify new oppo...