Africa-focused Endeavour Mining has increased its 2022 dividend target to $200-million, having declared a first-half dividend of $100-million on the back of an improved financial position and confidence in its business outlook.
The new targeted minimum dividend for the year is $50-million more than the initial commitment, president and CEO Sebastien de Montessus reported on Wednesday.
“We are also continuing to supplement our shareholder returns with share buybacks, having completed $38-million over the last six months and $176-million since launching the programme in April 2021,” he reported.
Endeavour’s capital returns programme has returned an impressive $476-million to shareholders since early last year, including the first-half dividend, which represents about 10% of its current market capitalisation.
Despite reporting weaker financial results, the LSE- and TSX-listed mining company said its operating and financial performance was solid over the first six months of the year, resulting in robust operating cash flow and cash flow generation of more than $550-million.
The group’s first-half net earnings fell by 37% year-on-year to $133-million, while adjusted net earnings decreased by 13% to $245-million. In the second quarter, adjusted net earnings reduced $111-million, from $134-million a year earlier.
De Montessus said Endeavour was on track to achieve its production guidance of 1.31-million to 1.4-million ounces and all-in sustaining cost (AISC) guidance of $880/oz to $930/oz for the tenth consecutive year, despite the macro environment.
First-half production amounted to 702 000 oz, an increase of 6 000 oz over the first half of 2021, owing to a full period consolidation of production from Sabodala-Massawa, in Senegal, as well as improved performance at Houndé, in Burkina Faso, offsetting lower production from Boungou and Wahgnion, also in Burkina Faso.
AISC from continuing operations increased by $62/oz in the first six months of the year, with higher AISC at Boungou, Ity, and Wahgnion, offset by lower AISC at Mana and Sabodala-Massawa.
De Montessus said that Endeavour was excited about its growth prospects, with its priority being the Sabodala-Massawa plant expansion, which are progressing on schedule and on-budget.
The company is also continuing to refine the definitive feasibility study for the Lafigué, in Cote d’Ivoire, which will be published late in the third quarter.