Polyus said on Thursday that its fourth-quarter net profit rose 20% year-on-year to $835 million due to a 26% increase in gold prices.
Its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at $1.1 billion, up 29% year-on-year, while revenue rose 18% to $1.5 billion.
“In 2020, Polyus posted strong results despite a challenging environment resulting from the covid-19 pandemic. Our revenue, EBITDA and free cash flow reached all time record highs,” Pavel Grachev, Polyus chief executive, said in a statement. Its 2020 revenue and EBITDA rose by 25% and 38%, respectively.
Polyus added that its board of directors had preliminarily considered a dividend payment for the second half of 2020 and plans to recommend it at $693 million, or at $5.09 per share.
The gold miner expects its 2021 total cash costs and capital expenditures to rise from 2020 to $425-$450 per ounce and to $1.0 billion-$1.1 billion, respectively, it said.
It will start expansion of the Blagodatnoye mine, its main source of near-term output growth, and will continue preparing the feasibility study for its giant Sukhoi Log gold deposit.
Polyus, which sees its 2021 covid-19-related expenses at $100 million, added that it was on track to produce 2.7 million troy ounces of gold in 2021, down from 2.8 million ounces in 2020.
(By Polina Devitt; Editing by Tom Balmforth)