Tharisa declares 5c final dividend taking full year payout to record

Phoevos Pouroulis, CEO, Tharisa

THARISA, the platinum group metals and chrome miner, declared a five US cents a share final dividend taking the total dividend for the year ended September 30 to nine cents per share – a record payout.

The dividend represents a payout ratio of 18.5% compared to Tharisa’s dividend policy which is to pay at least 15% of net profit after tax. Tharisa ended the year with $47.9m in net cash.

“This has been a stand-out year for Tharisa on all levels,” said Phoevos Pouroulis, CEO of Tharisa in comments to the firm’s results published today.

“Revenue increased nearly 47% to $596.3m, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) almost doubled to $224.3m,” said Pouroulis. “These are exceptional numbers, especially in light of the pandemic.”

From an earnings per share perspective, the company reported 38.3 US cents, some 127% higher than the 16.9c/share reported in the prior year.

The performance was largely driven by PGM prices which achieved record highs for a second successive year. Tharisa’s received basket price was $3,074/oz, a near doubling of last year’s average basket price of $1,704/oz.

Tharisa is bullish about the trajectory of PGM prices for the next five years. It said in commentary to its results that “… fundamentals of PGMs in the longer term are robust”, especially the minor metals such as rhodium. Rhodium comprised 60% of Tharisa’s total revenue for the 2021 financial year compared to 51% in the prior year.

The company expected a degree of substitution of palladium with platinum in the manufacture of catalytic converters, however.

At 157,800 ounces, the company produced 11% more PGMs year-on-year and 12.7% more chrome concentrate which came out at 1.51 million tons (Mt) for the year. The improvements were a function of improved grade at the Tharisa mine – situated in South Africa’s North West province – and better recoveries from its Genesis and Voyager processing plants.

In October, the company guided to PGM production of between 165,000 to 175,000 oz for its 2022 financial year and chrome output of between 1.75 to 1.85Mt.

For the chrome market, Tharisa said an easing in electricity market restrictions in China and chain market logjams – which would see a run down in port inventories – would give support to the chrome price.

The average chrome metallurgical price received for Tharisa was $154/t, representing an 10% year-on-year increase. Metallurgical chrome prices traded at the $165/t level at the end of the reporting period.