Iluka has cancelled its 5 cents per share interim dividend. Photo: Iluka Resources

Iluka cancels dividend amid virus

Friday, 14 August, 2020 - 15:27

Mineral sands company Iluka Resources has posted a 17 per cent drop in its half-year profit due to the effect of COVID-19 on zircon sales.

It comes after the Perth-based miner flagged a likely sales hit in June, having disclosed that some of its customers had failed to take up their contracted volumes.

Iluka today reported profit of $113.2 million in the six months to June 30, down from $137.2 million at the same time last year, along with revenue of $456.6 million, down from $545.6 million.

The 20 per cent drop in revenue was a result of lower zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile sales, which Iluka said reflected the impact of the pandemic on demand in zircon markets.

The company, which paid a 5 cents per share dividend this time last year, said it would defer this year's interim payout.

Iluka managing director Tom O'Leary said the half year result was solid, given the impact of the virus on the global economy.

“Given the volatility experienced throughout the world in recent months, we’re pleased with the earnings and cash position we’ve delivered,” he said.

Iluka reported net cash of $62 million at June 30, up from $43 million at December 30.

The company also said it had received $48 million from its MAC royalty – held over BHP’s Mining Area C operation in the Pilbara – due to increased iron ore prices and volumes.

Iluka's shares closed down 0.8 per cent to trade at $9.60.