It followed an improvement in safety performance and operational achievements, according to its full-year result released yesterday.
The company reported a statutory profit of US$308 million (K953.94 million) and an underlying profit of US$394 million (K1.2 billion) from gold production of 2.38 million ounces at a group all-in sustaining cost of US$787 million (K2.4 billion) per ounce.
Managing director and chief executive Andeep Biswas said this financial year was marked by a significant improvement in their safety performance and a number of operational achievements particularly at Lihir and Cadia.
“All operations contributed to the free cash flow generation of the Group, which has been applied to further reducing net debt and strengthening the balance sheet, plus increasing dividends to shareholders.”
Despite the seismic event which impacted Cadia operations in Australia and the group in the fourth quarter of 2017, Newcrest achieved a small increase in production from operations, excluding Hidden Valley.
It achieved a Group production guidance for the fourth year in a row.
Cadia generated US$502 million (K1.5 billion) in cash flow for the nine months ended March 31 excluding April 14 when the seismic event occurred. Lihir generated US$353 million (K1.1 billion) before tax. Other operating assets in both Australia and Papua New Guinea such as Telfer contributed US$70 million (K222 million), Gosowong US$142 (K451.56 million), Bonikoro US$38 million (K120.84 million) and Hidden Valley was divested during the current period.
Newcrest had put forward guidance of 2.4 – 2.7 tonnes for gold and 80 – 90 tonnes for copper.