BC Iron (BCI) says its focus for the rest of the year will remain on dividends and total shareholder returns, as well as assessing growth opportunities via low grade beneficiation, following a surge in first-half profit.
In the six months to December 31, the junior iron ore miner posted a net profit of $70.63 million, a surge of 813% on the $7.74 million posted in the previous corresponding period.
BC Iron said the increase was primarily due to larger sales volume resulting from the lift in its stake of the Nullagine Joint Venture (NJV), from 50% to 75%, which occurred in December 2012.
The NJV achieved record half-year sales of 3.14 million wet metric tonnes, with BC Iron’s share of sales totalling 2.46 million wmt, also a record for a half-year period.
In the same period revenue soared 186 % to $300.99 million, from $105.18 million in the first half of the previous year.
The miner said its record half-year revenue was generated due to iron ore prices remaining robust during the period and the decline in the Australian dollar against its American counterpart.
BC Iron said it repaid debt ahead of schedule during the period, reducing its debt position to $$65.6 million from $103.3 million as at June 30, 2013.
The group's balance sheet at the end of the period was strong, with a cash position of $196.7 million.
BC Iron will pay an interim dividend of 17 cents, fully-franked, on March 25 to shareholders on the register at March 7.
The group will target an annual dividend payout ratio of 30-50% of net profit after tax.