Hochschild cancels dividend as low metal prices smash results

Suzie Neuwirth
HOCHSCHILD Mining, the precious metals explorer, yesterday confirmed that it had cancelled its dividend as low commodities prices caused it to swing into a loss.

The FTSE 250-quoted company, which set out a plethora of cost cuts last year, reported a loss from continuing operations of $42.1m (£25.4m), down 113 per cent from 2012. Adjusted core earnings fell 49 per cent to $195.5m.

“The board proposes to not reinstate the dividend until the company’s cash position improves,” said chairman Eduardo Hochschild.

The company has set a production target of 21m silver ounces for 2014, up from the 20.5m produced in 2013, boosted by the acquisition of a minority stake in its Pallancata mine.

It said it was still on track to start commissioning its Inmaculada gold and silver project in Peru in the last quarter of this year, which it hopes will help boost its production to 35m ounces by 2017.

“The short term outlook for the precious metals markets remains uncertain,” said Hochschild.

“However, the company continues to believe that the long term fundamentals for both silver and gold will eventually reassert themselves.”

After cutting costs by 14 per cent in 2013, Hochschild is looking to make a further zero to five per cent reduction in 2014.