Profit growth for Saracen

SARACEN Mineral Holdings has posted a jump in its half-year profit.
Profit growth for Saracen Profit growth for Saracen Profit growth for Saracen Profit growth for Saracen Profit growth for Saracen

Saracen MD Raleigh Finlayson with a gold bar at Carosue Dam

Underlying net profit after tax was up 84% to A$80.2 million, while statutory NPAT rose 61% to $69 million.

Revenue was up 45% to $409.9 million after a 22% rise in gold production to a record 216,452 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $1041 an ounce and an average sales price of $1984/oz.

Operating cashflow rose 35% to $152 million, while EBITDA increased 71% to $178.6 million. 

Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said key message from the results was that the company had grown and would continue to grow.

The result only included one month of contribution from Saracen's newly acquired 50% stake in the Super Pit, and the company maintained full-year guidance of more than 500,000 ounces of gold.

"We are growing production and our inventory through a financially-rewarding combination of aggressive near-mine exploration and prudent acquisition, all within 300km of Kalgoorlie," Finlayson said.

"With the addition of the Super Pit and the Carosue Dam mill expansion set for commissioning in the December quarter, our production and cashflow is poised to continue growing.

"We are also looking forward to the results of the review we are undertaking at the Super Pit, which is a world-class asset with an exceptional future.

"Saracen has shifted to another level in the league of global gold producers with the key benefits that brings for scale, asset diversity and cashflow."

Saracen had December 31 cash and equivalents of $283.8 million at after paying US$750 million for the Super Pit stake, paying A$10 million for the Sinclair mine, raising $796 million in equity, drawing $400 million in debt and making an early debt repayment of $15 million.

Finlayson said debt reduction would be a priority.  

"As part of this strategy, we have made the decision not to pay a dividend in relation to this half year. In line with our stated policy, the board will revisit this matter at the end of the financial year," he said.

RBC Capital Markets said the result was slightly softer than expected due to higher depreciation and amortisation costs of $71.4 million due to $14 million for amortisation of deferred mining expenditure at the Thunderbox C Zone.

"We remain constructive on Saracen given their organic upside and strengthening cashflow outlook and believe the stock provides investors exposure to a company with improving fundamentals (production, costs, reserves)," RBC said.

Saracen shares rose 3.1% to a 2020 high of $4.26. The stock is up 28% so far this year.

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