Saracen sees strong earnings growth

SARACEN Mineral Holdings has posted a record full-year profit and sees further earnings growth following the acquisition of 50% of the Super Pit and the higher gold price.
Saracen sees strong earnings growth Saracen sees strong earnings growth Saracen sees strong earnings growth Saracen sees strong earnings growth Saracen sees strong earnings growth

Saracen's Thunderbox mine in WA

The company posted an underlying net profit after tax of A$257.5 million, up 173%, and a statutory NPAT of $189.7 million, up 103%.

Underlying EBITDA jumped 140% to a record $530.9 million, while EBITDA was up 104% to $447.6 million.

Revenue was up 93% to $1.07 billion on gold sales of 528,693 ounces at an average price of $2138 an ounce.

The spot gold price is closer to $2800/oz this morning.

Saracen's hedge book stood at 493,200oz at an average price of $2094/oz at June 30, but the company expects to deliver less than 33% of FY21 production into the hedge book, reducing to below 25% after that.

The company had cash and equivalents of $372 million at June 30 after spending $272.6 million on exploration and growth.

Debt stood at $321.5 million, equating to a net cash position of $48 million.

Saracen did not declare a dividend, and amended its dividend policy from a minimum cash balance of $150 million to a minimum net cash balance of $150 million.

The target payout ratio of 20-40% of NPAT remains.

The company didn't rule out declaring a dividend after the first half of FY21.

Saracen expects to produce 600,000-640,000oz of gold at AISC of $1300-1400/oz in FY21.

The company expects growth capital expenditure to peak in FY21 at $429 million, more than half of which will be spent at the Super Pit.

"We're obviously having a fair swing this year," Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said this morning.

Included in the capex guidance is $5 million for an underground portal at Fimiston to re-establish access beneath the Super Pit.

"History would suggest there's some nice high grades down there," Finlayson said.

Group exploration expenditure is expected to be $55 million.

The completion of the review into Super Pit owner Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines allowed Saracen to publish a seven-year production outlook yesterday, underpinned by June 30 reserves of 8.6 million ounces.

Saracen expects annual group production to rise to about 700,000ozpa in FY24 and reach 800,000ozpa in FY27.

The company highlighted upside to those forecasts, given group resources stood at 17Moz at June 30.

Shares in Saracen were down 1.9% to $5.64. The stock hit an all-time high of $6.75 three weeks ago.