HomeNewsAquarius swings into profit and resumes dividend payout

Aquarius swings into profit and resumes dividend payout

London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 February 2010 – South Africa’s Aquarius Platinum Limited “’ the world’s fourth-largest platinum producer “’ says it is resuming dividend payouts after swinging to a profit in the first half of its current financial year, and adds that it expects the second half will be even better.

In a results statement issued here, Aquarius revealed that it had posted an after tax profit of US$3.9 million (R29.25 million), after deducting a number of one-off charges, compared with a loss of US$105.9 million (R794 million) the previous year, as higher precious metal prices outweighed weaker production.

The company said it would offer an interim dividend of 2 cents per share. “With the improved outlook in terms of revenue per ounce, the second-half financial results should be an improvement on the first half,” said chief executive Stuart Murray. “The belief in improved times ahead has enabled the company to resume the payment of dividends.’

Murray said the group believed the fourth quarter could be ‘quite a good one’. “We are looking at somewhere for the full year on an attributable basis in the 445 000 to 450 000 ounce range,” he predicted.

The company is planning to resume operations at its Everest mine by September after rehabilitation work is complete. The mine, which produced 157 995 platinum group metal (PGM) ounces in 2008, was shut in December 2008 due to subsidence after heavy rainfall.

The spot price of platinum jumped almost 60% in 2009, although it is still well below the peak of $2 290 touched in 2008.

A Reuters poll shows that platinum and palladium are poised to outperform other precious metals this year and next, with a new wave of investor demand boosting prices in anticipation of increased industrial use.