Thungela to pay bumper dividend as coal price soars


Investors in South Africa’s largest exporter of thermal coal are set to get pleasure from a bumper payday amid a rare growth in costs for the extremely polluting fossil gasoline.

Thungela Resources, a spin-off from Anglo American, declared a dividend of R60 a share ($3.68) as income for the six months to June surged greater than 4,000 per cent on the again of document coal costs and premiums.

The payout is sort of thrice increased than Thungela’s share price on its first day of buying and selling 14 months in the past and underscores the large income being generated from coal.

Glencore, the world’s greatest exporter of thermal coal, this month revealed earnings from its coal enterprise had surged nearly 900 per cent to $8.9bn within the first six months of the yr. Chinese and Indian producers have additionally reported hovering income.

The outcomes are the newest proof of a outstanding turnround for an business that has been shunned by many buyers and banks amid a world push in the direction of cleaner fuels.

Thungela stated demand for “affordable” vitality sources had escalated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has despatched shockwaves by way of international vitality markets.

“Coupled with supply constraints in major coal-producing regions, this resulted in the price of thermal coal increasing to unprecedented levels,” chief government July Ndlovu in a press release.

South African coal shipped from Richards Bay is buying and selling at nearly $320 a tonne, in accordance to Argus Media, up from $140 this time a yr in the past.

A full ban on Russian coal shipments has simply come into impact in Europe, boosting demand for various sources of provide. It comes as Germany fires up coal-fired energy stations forward of the winter after Russia lower fuel provides to the continent.

“We expect an even larger dividend of R67 per share at the full-year results, assuming there is no merger and acquisition activity,” stated Ben Davis, analyst at Liberum.

In the six months to June, Thungela reported web earnings of R9.6bn ($578mn), up from R351mn in the identical interval a yr in the past on income up 160 per cent to R26.1bn

It additionally lowered steering for shipments as rail constraints proceed to hamper its means to transfer coal from its mines to Richards Bay, one of many greatest coal terminals on this planet.

Thungela expects to export 13mn-13.6mn tonnes of the fossil gasoline this yr, from an preliminary projection of 14mn-15mn.

The firm additionally authorised the R2bn Elders undertaking, a proposed underground coal mine in Mpumalanga province, though Ndlovu stated it could not add incremental tonnes to its manufacturing profile however exchange manufacturing from one other mine that was reaching the tip of its life.

Thungela was demerged from Anglo American in June 2021, finishing the FTSE 100 miner’s exit from South African coal. Thungela shares, that are additionally quoted in London, fell as low as R20 on the primary day of buying and selling as buyers within the US and Europe dumped the stock.

Since then they’ve soared by nearly 1,400 per cent and the corporate has an equity market worth of $2.2bn.

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