Harmony Gold reduces losses, vows to put miner safety first

Gold mining company Harmony reduced its losses by over 40% for the 2019 financial year.

Harmony on Tuesday released its financial and operating results for the year ended June 30, 2019. Net losses came to -R2.6bn, 41% less compared to -R4.47bn reported in 2018. Losses per share decreased 50% to -498c. While headline earnings per share increased 19% to 204c.

Other key features for the period show gold production increased 17% which translated in a 23% increase in production profit. Production was boosted by the first full year financial inclusion of the Moab Khotsong mine which was acquired in 2018, as well as improved production from Hidden Valley mine following capital investments in the mine.

Harmony's revenue increased 32% to R26.9bn. No dividend was declared this year, nor was one declared the year before.

Commenting on the financial year, Chief Executive Officer Peter Steenkamp extended condolences for the lost lives in mining accidents and reiterated goals to ensure a safe work environment. The lives of 11 employees were lost during the year.

"I wish to extend my personal, heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of the employees who lost their lives in mining accidents in FY19.

"Together with each and every employee, my aim is to ensure safe production, by preventing fatalities and embedding a proactive safety culture. It is important that every employee returns home each day - both safe and healthy," he said.

For the year ahead, Harmony intends to focus on "safe, profitable production," he added. "Value - rather than volume - will translate to shareholder returns in the long term," Steenkamp said.

Silicosis class action

Further to the results announcement, harmony commented on a historic settlement reached with workers suffering from silicosis or tuberculosis after working in Gold Working Group companies' mines (of which Harmony is part) between 1965 to date. The settlement came following three years of negotiations and will provide compensation to affected workers.

"The Tshiamiso Trust will track and trace class members and administer claims and payments to eligible claimants following the completion of the legal opt out period as set out by the Court," Harmony said.

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