Australian mining and metals company South32 Limited (SOUHY.PK,SHTLF.PK) reported Thursday that its profit after tax and net finance costs for the first half of fiscal 2021 fell 46 percent to $53 million from $99 million in the year-ago period. Basic earnings per share dropped to 1.1 cents from 2.0 cents last year.
The decline in profit reflects a 9 percent reduction in the company’s cost base and higher sales volumes that were more than offset by weaker prices for key commodities.
Underlying earnings for the half year were $136 million, compared to $131 million in the prior-year period. Underlying earnings per share were 2.8 cents, compared to 2.7 cents last year.
Underlying EBITDA declined 7 percent to $633 million from $678 million a year ago.
Revenue for the half year declined 8 percent to $2.94 billion from $3.22 billion last year, as lower realized prices for metallurgical coal, alumina and manganese ore were partially offset by increased sales volumes and higher silver and zinc prices.
South32 said it has recommenced its on-market share buy-back in October and the company’s board has on Thursday expanded the capital management program by $250 million to $1.68 billion, leaving $259 million to be returned by September 3, 2021.
The Board has also resolved to pay an ordinary dividend for the period of 1.4 cents per share, compared to 1.1 cents a year earlier.
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