Randgold Resources, the South Africa-based gold miner listed on London's stock exchange, doubled its dividend for 2017 after it reported on Monday its seventh-consecutive year of record gold production.
Mining output rose 10% quarter on quarter, while its annual gold production rose 5%, exceeding the company's annual guidance range. Cash costs per ounce of gold produced fell 3% over the year to its lowest in six years.
Annual earnings highlights
- Average gold price received rose to $1,258 from $1,244 in 2016
- Gold sales rose to $1.654bn from $1.546bn in 2016
- Annual profit rose to $335m from $294m in 2016
- Net cash from operations rose to $548m from $521m in 2016
- Dividend raised to $2 per share, up 100% on 2016
Comment and outlook
Chief executive Mark Bristow (left) said the strong performance was led by Randgold's flagship Loulo-Gounkoto mining complex in Mali, but strong support was delivered from its operations in Morila, Mali, Tongon in Cote d'Ivoire and Kibali in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For 2018, Randgold is forecasting production of between 1.3 and 1.35 million ounces at a total cash cost per ounce in the range of $590 to $640, taking into account the effect of the current increases in the oil price and the euro:dollar exchange rate.
Bristow added: "Beyond that, our 10-year business plan is designed to increase net cash flows to support dividend and value growth and maintain Randgold's position as a global industry leader in sustainable profitability."
"Over the years, Randgold has proved to be one of the best performing gold miners around the world and over the medium to longer term we believe this will continue," said Graham Spooner, investment analyst at The Share Centre.
"With global markets wobbling after US job numbers on Friday combined with rising bond yields, investors might be keener to get exposure to gold and for anyone seeking a gold miner, we would highlight Randgold as our preferred option.
"This is a share for investors looking for capital growth and willing to accept a higher level of risk."
Shares were a shade lower on a FTSE 100 index that many suspected was going through the early stages of a correction. The overall index was down 1.2%, while Randgold outperformed it with a loss of just 0.34% to £70.20.
Picture courtesy of Randgold website