He told the company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday in Melbourne that Newcrest’s performance delivered a statutory profit of A$308 million (K965.94 million) and an underlying profit of A$394 million (K1.23bil) from gold production of 2.38 million ounces.
“This was achieved despite the seismic event interrupting our Cadia operations for the last two-and-a-half months of the financial year,” Hay said.
“We generated a free cash flow of A$739million (K2.317bil) during the year. This is the seventh half-year in row that Newcrest has been free cash flow-positive. This free cash flow generated by the business enables the company to lower its net debt by a further $608 million (K1.906bil), or 29 per cent, to A$1.5 billion (K4.7bil) by the end of June 2017,” he said.
“This compares favorably to the peak debt level of A$4 billion (K12.54bil) at the end of December 2013.
“This significant reduction in the company’s debt level means we have achieved a leverage ratio of 1.2 times and a gearing ratio of 16.6 per cent as at 30 June 2017.
“Having considered the company’s improved debt position, profitability, our capital requirements and market conditions, in October 2016 the board recommenced paying dividends for the first time since 2013.”