Newcrest doubles dividend in 2023

NEWCREST Mining has doubled its dividend after a steady financial performance in the 2023 financial year ahead of its takeover by Newmont Corporation.
Newcrest doubles dividend in 2023 Newcrest doubles dividend in 2023 Newcrest doubles dividend in 2023 Newcrest doubles dividend in 2023 Newcrest doubles dividend in 2023
The company's statutory and underlying profit dropped 11% to US$778 million.
Free cashflow before merger and acquisition activity was $447 million, up 95%.
Gold and copper production was up 8% and 10%, respectively, to 2.1 million ounces and 133,149 tonnes, while all-in sustaining costs were up 5% to $1093 an ounce of gold.
The company declared a final fully franked dividend of 20c per share, exceeding the maximum payout targeted in its dividend policy.
It took full-year dividends to 55c, equal to the highest-ever payout.
"Our balance sheet remains in excellent shape, sitting comfortably within all our financial policy targets as we continued to invest in our organic portfolio of value-generating projects," interim CEO Sherry Duhe said.
Duhe said financial year 2023 had been transformational for Newcrest.
"We made significant progress against our growth strategy with key study milestones achieved at Cadia and Lihir, the signing of the framework MoU at the world-class Wafi-Golpu copper-gold deposit, and continued success realised through the Brucejack transformation program," she said.
"Following our strong exploration performance, we significantly expanded the exploration target at East Ridge, highlighting the exciting opportunity for Red Chris as the block cave feasibility study continued to pursue a range of optimisation opportunities."
Duhe confirmed the Red Chris study was on track for completion this year though she couldn't say if it would be before or after completion of the Newmont transaction.
A shareholder vote is expected to occur in October and Duhe reiterated the board's unanimous recommendation.
"If the transaction receives the necessary approvals and proceeds, the combined company will set a new benchmark in gold production with increased diversification across a premier portfolio of gold and copper assets, as well as additional flexibility in project sequencing and growth optionality," she said.
Newcrest provided group-level guidance of 2-2.3Moz of gold and 120,000-140,000t of copper production at AISC of $2.2-2.6 billion, sustaining capital expenditure of $560-640 million and non-sustaining capex of $610-735 million, exploration expenditure of $130-150 million and depreciation and amortisation of $820-870 million.
Duhe said asset-level guidance would not be provided as it was uncommon for a takeover target to provide any sort of guidance.
At the time of the announcement, shares in the company were steady at A$25.93, giving it a market capitalisation of $23.2 billion.
The 15-page Newcrest announcement may be found at this address: