Central Asia Metals hikes dividend after record year
Central Asia Metals declared a final dividend of 12p per share in its 2021 results on Tuesday, up from 8p year-on-year, on the back of record financial results.
The AIM-traded firm said that took the full-year dividend for the 12 months ended 31 December to 20p per share, compared to the 14p distributions paid for 2020.
It said the final dividend represented 45% of free cash flow for 2021, in line with its stated dividend policy.
Looking at the rest of its financials, Central Asia Metals recorded group gross revenue of $235.2m (£179.68m) for the year, up from $170.3m.
Group net revenue came in at $223.4m, rising from $160.1m, with group EBITDA improving to $141.5m from $95.7m.
The company reported an EBITDA margin of 60%, compared to 56% for 2020, with group profit before tax totalling $109.3m - almost double the $59.8m it reported for the prior year.
Earnings from continuing operations totalled 47.69 US cents per share, up from 24.78 cents.
Looking ahead at 2022, Central Asia Metals guided for copper production at Kounrad of between 12,500 and 13,500 tonnes.
At Sasa, its production guidance for zinc-in-concentrate was for between 20,000 and 22,000 tonnes, and for lead-in-concentrate of between 27,000 and 29,000 tonnes.
“We have continued to focus our efforts on the most important sustainability aspects of our business and have in particular worked on our climate change strategy during 2021,” said chief executive officer Nigel Robinson.
“We ended the year having firmed up a strategy, and are confident in our ability to commit to a 50% reduction in our group scope one and scope two emissions by 2030, and are committing to a net zero target by 2050.
“Our forthcoming 2021 annual and sustainability reports contain more information on our efforts in this regard, and our initial reporting towards Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).”
Robinson said the board was looking at “another positive year” in 2022, in particular progressing the cut-and-fill project at Sasa.
“We now expect this project, which will ensure maximum extraction of Sasa's resources, in the safest way, with minimal water usage and improved tailings management, to be completed in 2023.
“Our business development efforts continue into 2022 - we also look forward to celebrating 10 years of copper production from Kounrad on 30 April.
“It is clearly too soon to ascertain how the events in Ukraine will affect the wider world and global economy, but in the meantime our thoughts are with all of those directly affected.”
At 1204 BST, shares in Central Asia Metals were down 0.63% at 238.5p.