Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) has announced plans to reward its shareholders by recommending a substantially increased dividend and an improved dividend policy, including the introduction of an interim payout, helping boost its share price.
The South Africa focused chrome miner said that based on improved earnings, its directors are recommending a final dividend for full year 2017 of 5 US cents per share, reflecting a material increase on the maiden distribution of 1 US cent declared a year earlier.
Furthermore, Tharisa added that its dividend policy for full year 2018 will be changed to provide for a payout of at least 15% of consolidated net profit after tax, an increase from the previous stated dividend policy of at least 10% of consolidated net profit after tax.
The company said it also intends to introduce the payment of an interim dividend.
Phoevos Pouroulis, the group’s chief executive said: "Tharisa has had yet another strong year operationally and, despite relatively flat PGM basket prices, has benefitted from improved prices for chrome concentrate.
“In view of delivering strong growth, it is Tharisa's stated strategy to not only maintain but also improve returns to shareholders and provide more regular returns during the course of the financial calendar."
Analysts noted that the proposed dividend is over twice the level expected - based on a previously communicated 10% payout policy – which they take as a sign of the strong cash flows that the group has generated over the last 6 months or so.
Tharisa said it is currently preparing its financial statements for the financial year ended 30 September 2017, with the results expected to be released on or about 30 November 2017.
In late morning trading, Tharisa shares were 5.8%, or 5.5p higher at 100.0p.
-- Adds analyst comment, share price --