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Raspadskaya decides against 2018 dividends despite net profit surge

PJSC Raspadskaya's board decided not to recommend any dividends for 2018 despite the coal miner recording a 40% year-over-year climb in net profit for the year.

The Evraz PLC subsidiary highlighted the need to conserve financial reserves in the face of coal price volatility as it reported a US$448 million net profit, largely driven by high prices and strong production results.

While the board decided against paying a dividend for 2018, it said it would return a minimum of US$50 million for 2019 if the net debt-to-EBITDA ratio does not exceed 2x. The dividends would be paid in two tranches of at least US$25 million each based on first-half and full-year results, the company said March 22.

Raspadskaya was firmly in the black by year-end with US$67 million in cash and equivalents and no debt. It reported debt of US$38 million at the end of 2017.

For 2018, the miner's revenue grew 25% year over year to US$1.09 billion as output and prices rose, though the cash cost of concentrate crept up 19% to US$38 per tonne, partially offset by Russian ruble depreciation.

EBITDA came in 29% higher than 2017 at US$589 million, mainly due to revenue growth. The EBITDA margin gained 1.9 percentage points over the period to reach 54.3%.

Capital expenditures amounted to US$53 million, down from US$61 million in 2017.

Commenting on the results, General Director Sergey Stepanov reflected on a "challenging" start to 2019, which saw seven people killed in an accident at Razrez Raspadsky in February, but he noted that there were no deaths in 2018.

Raspadskaya shares were down 3.70% at 134.92 rubles by late afternoon in Moscow.

As of March 21, US$1 was equivalent to 63.88 Russian rubles.