Oz Minerals annual profit slips but Prominent Hill project outperforms

Australia-based Oz Minerals on Wednesday said its underlying annual profit slipped, but a better-than-expected performance at its Prominent Hill project was expected to drive future growth.

The copper-focused miner posted a 1 percent drop in underlying net profit after tax to A$228.3 million ($159.77 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, compared to A$231.1 million year ago, falling just shy of an A$228.85 million estimate according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Oz Mineral’s crown jewel is its copper-gold mine Prominent Hill in South Australia, with the company saying the mine beat its copper and gold production guidance.

“Prominent Hill exceeded copper and gold production guidance with bottom quartile operating costs below their guided ranges,” said Chief Executive Andrew Cole.

He added that the company’s focus in 2019 will be to ramp up underground production at its Prominent Hill mine.

The miner, which also explores for gold and silver, expects its Carrapateena copper-gold project in South Australia to start production in final quarter of 2019.

The company declared a final dividend of 15 Australian cents per share, up from 14 Australian cents per share a year ago.

Oz Minerals reported full year revenue of A$1.12 billion, up from A$1.02 billion last year.

(By Shanima A and Syed Saif Hussain Naqvi; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)