Hochschild reports strong cashflow but profits slide $13.9m

By Dominic Ellis
Higher precious metal prices spurred Hochschild to a $231.9 million net cash position for the first time in eight years in 2020...

Higher precious metal prices combined with strong free cashflow generation saw Hochschild finish 2020 with a $231.9 million net cash position for the first time in eight years.

But the leading Latin American precious metal producer recorded a pre-tax profit (post-exceptions) of $62.9 million, down from $76.8 million; an adjusted EBITDA of $270.9 million, down from $343.3 million in 2019; and revenues fell from $755.7 million to $621.8 million. 

The final proposed dividend of 2.335 cents per share ($12 million) brings the full-year total dividend to $32.6 million (2019: $10.2 million).

CEO Ignacio Bustamante said it delivered strong financial results in 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 related stoppages. 

"We have also made solid progress on our ongoing brownfield strategy with an increase in reserves at Inmaculada and promising results at the Corina, San Jose and Arcata deposits. 

"This year, another ambitious programme is already underway with further exciting drill targets at all our current operations and projects throughout our southern Peru cluster. In addition, we look forward to progressing our greenfield and strategic alliance portfolio across the Americas."

In its year-end production report for 2020, the company mined:

  • 175,241 ounces of gold
  • 9.8 million ounces of silver
  • 289,293 gold equivalent ounces (versus revised guidance of 280,000-290,000 gold equivalent ounces)
  • 24.9 million silver equivalent ounces (versus revised guidance of 24.0-25.0 million silver equivalent ounces

The company restarted limited operations at San Jose in December, following a lockdown of various mines in the region as a result of COVID-19 infections. 

Its production target for 2021 is 360,000-372,000 gold equivalent ounces and 31-32 million silver equivalent ounces, with a brownfield exploration budget of around $34 million. 

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