Northam Platinum shares fall 8% after miner skips dividend

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Shares of South Africa’s Northam Platinum fell more than 8% on Friday, after it skipped a dividend payout despite a jump of 67% in half-year profit, as the miner focuses on plans to acquire Royal Bafokeng Platinum.

Northam shares were down 8.28% by 08:38 GMT, their lowest level since late September 2022.

Last year the firm countered bigger rival Impala Platinum’s bid to acquire the mid-tier Royal Bafokeng Platinum, triggering a bidding war that has run more than a year.

The company said it would not pay an interim dividend this year, similar to 2022, as its growth strategy was at a critical juncture.

Higher platinum group metal (PGM) production drove Northam’s headline earnings per share, the profit measure commonly used in South Africa to R16.09  in the six months ended 31 December, from R9.62 a year ago.

The company seeks to add Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s large, shallow, high-quality assets to its portfolio as it targets annual output of 1 million PGM ounces by 2027.

Northam has grown from a single mine operation 30 years ago through the acquisition of the greenfield Booysendal asset and the brownfield Eland mine in 2018.

The company produced 393,303 refined PGM ounces from its own operations during the first half, an increase of 11.9% from the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The miner said it expected to produce between 790,000 and 820,000 PGM ounces for the full year.