PanAust looks to second half

PANAUST has reported a lower profit for the six months to June but higher sales helped offset lower commodity prices.
PanAust looks to second half PanAust looks to second half PanAust looks to second half PanAust looks to second half PanAust looks to second half

Half-year profit after tax came in 25% lower than the same time last year at $US32.4 million ($A34.8 million), with $28.1 million attributable to PanAust.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were 4% lower at $124.4 million but sales revenue was up almost 4% to $338.5 million.

Cash flow from operating activities was up 173% to $105.1 million due to lower costs and working capital.

"The company's operations delivered strong cash flow despite the lower average prices for all metals and the outlook is for improved operating performance in the second half of 2014," PanAust managing director Gary Stafford said.

The increase in sales revenue was due to a 23% boost in copper concentrate sales and a 37% rise in silver sales.

Gold sales dropped 8% due to lower grades at the Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai operations in Laos.

The company said operations were on schedule to meet the upper end of 2014 production guidance for 65,000-70,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate, 160,000-165,000 ounces of gold and about 1.2 million ounces silver in concentrate and dore.

"PanAust has invested significant capital at the Phu Kham operations over the past two years and is starting to reap the benefits through higher processing rates and improving metallurgical recovery rates which, together with lower sustaining capital, are resulting in improving cash flow," Stafford said.

The company said production would keep rising at Phu Kham.

"Scheduled increases in the average copper head grade at Phu Kham over the next several years and reduced waste stripping are expected to result in further improvements to cash flow as copper production increases to about 90,000 tonnes and gold production to approximately 80,000 ounces in 2018 and 2019," Stafford said.

"The inclusion of ore sourced from the KTL satellite deposit would further enhance production and cash flow."

Back on the financial side, PanAust said EBITDA was tracking ahead of guidance despite lower copper prices.

It said full-year EBITDA could exceed guidance if average copper prices were higher than $3.20 a pound in the second half.

PanAust shares were last trading 2% lower at $A2.30.


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