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Press release from Marketwire

Paladin Energy: Financial Report for Year Ended 30 June 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paladin Energy: Financial Report for Year Ended 30 June 201208:04 EDT Thursday, August 30, 2012PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2012) -Paladin Energy Ltd ("Paladin" or "the Company") (TSX:PDN)(ASX:PDN) announces the release of its Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 2012. The Financial Report is appended to this News Release.FY12 has been a milestone year for the Company. Achieving nameplate production levels at both mines positions Paladin well at a time of a changing landscape in the uranium supply industry.FY13 will be the first year Paladin will operate without distracting construction and commissioning activities running in parallel. In this new environment the Company is well placed to optimise efficiencies and costs on its operations and benefit from returns. Debt gearing is also reducing with the initiatives announced FY12 and early FY13.HighlightsRecord production for the year of 6.895Mlb U3O8,an increase of 21% over the previous year. Langer Heinrich Mine produced 4.417Mlb U3O8for the year, an increase of 25% over the previous year.Kayelekera Mine delivered record production of 2.478Mlb U3O8 for the year, an increase of 14% over the previous year. The project operated consistently at 90% of nameplate for the last 8 months of the year.Average cash cost of sales (C1 cost) of US$39/lb sold for year compared with US$35/lb in the previous year.Average realised sales price of US$55/lb U3O8 achieved for the year compared to average UxC price of US$52/lb. Both mines now, for the first time, operating without concurrent construction expansion programmes, allowing a strong focus on operational and cost optimisation.50% Kwacha (Malawian currency) devaluation in the last quarter of the year, positive for the Malawian economy and for Kayelekera Mine cost optimisation progress.Cash position strengthened with US$141M Stage 3 project finance drawdown and US$65M proceeds from share placement.Successful raising of US$274M through Convertible Bonds. Portion of proceeds used to fund concurrent partial buyback of US$191M of the existing convertible bonds maturing in 2013.Post year end, a long-term off-take contract agreement was entered into with major utility to deliver a total of 13.73Mlb U3O8in the period 2019 to 2024. The agreement includes a US$200M prepayment, which will be partly allocated to repay the balance of the convertible bond payment of US$134M due March 2013.Post year end, new mid-term sales contracts were secured for a total of 6.3Mlb U3O8,to be delivered from late 2012 to end 2015 at market prices, with a fixed price component well above the current spot price.Labrador, Canada, three-year moratorium on uranium development and mining ended, providing access for the resource development of the potentially world class Michelin deposit. Drilling commenced in August 2012.Results(References to 2012 and 2011 refer to the equivalent year ended 30 June 2012 and 2011 respectively).Safety and Sustainability:Maintained high safety performance with a 12-month moving average Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of 0.9. Production:Record production for the year of 6.895Mlb U3O8 - an increase of 21% from the previous year, despite operations being affected by a combination of planned shutdowns, unscheduled remediation work and disruptions from Langer Heinrich Stage 3 tie-ins. In the June 2012 quarter both mining projects operated exceptionally well. Production from Langer Heinrich exceeded design levels, with 1.323Mlb U3O8. Kayelekera achieved 0.726Mlb U3O8 production in the June 2012 quarter, 88% of nameplate capacity, despite a seven-day disruption due to industrial action in May. Langer Heinrich Mine:Record production for the year of 4.417Mlb U3O8 - a 25% increase from 2011. Demonstrated production and performance benefits achieved from Stage 3 production ramp-up. June 2012 quarterly U3O8 production of 1.323Mlb U3O8, achieving 102% of Stage 3 nameplate capacity, representing a 26% increase from the March quarter. Construction of the Stage 3 expansion completed with staged ramp-up achieved, crushed tonnes increasing and ore feed grades reducing to design levels. The Stage 4 expansion study is well advanced, with Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approvals granted by the Namibian Government. Completion of the feasibility study will be deferred until all aspects of the Stage 3 equipment have been fully optimised and understood. Kayelekera Mine: Record production for the year of 2.478Mlb U3O8 - a 14% increase from 2011. During the year, production was impacted by a planned plant upgrade shutdown in August 2011, unscheduled remediation work in September/October 2011 totalling 2 months and industrial action in May 2012 (7 days). Record quarterly U3O8 production achieved in June 2012 quarter of 0.726Mlb U3O8, 88% of design capacity - consistent with March 2012 quarterly production, despite industrial action in May. Record production in June 2012 at 96% of nameplate. The key production measures for the Kayelekera bankers' technical completion test, covering 90 days from 1 November 2011 to 31 January 2012, have been passed. Work is continuing on final completion test certification. Localised ground movement abated, with conditions continuing to be stable. Cost Optimisation: Implementation plan approved in 2011 to target reducing corporate and marketing costs by at least 15%. Tighter controls have led to a reduction of corporate overheads, including travel costs and outsourced work. Labour costs have reduced as the high capital investment phase has largely been completed. Discretionary exploration expenditure reduced by US$5M for FY12 by extending non-essential programme timeframes. Kayelekera Mine cost optimisation programme is a key focus with production having achieved design performance. Fourteen areas have been identified with specific targeted cost saving opportunities, including the key areas of reagents (primarily acid), diesel and transport. Progress during the year included reaching a new agreement with the finished goods transporter to reduce costs, securing cheaper imported acid, cost effective direct diesel imports and cheaper mill balls now being sourced from China. Recent 50% devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha corrects the artificially high fixed rate that has negatively impacted Kayelekera costs over the past three years. Sales:Sales revenue increased 37% from US$266.8M in 2011 to US$365.8M for the year ended June 2012, mainly as a result of higher sales volumes of 6.698Mlb U3O8 compared to 2011 sales volume of 4.812Mlb U3O8 - an increase of 39% in volume. The average realised uranium price for the year was US$55/lb U3O8 (2011: US$56/lb). The average UxC spot price for the year was US$52/lb. Total sales volume for the June 2012 quarter of 2.241Mlb U3O8 - a 97% increase on the March 2012 quarter sales of 1.137Mlb U3O8. Uranium sales volumes are expected to fluctuate quarter-on-quarter due to the uneven timing of contractual commitments and resultant scheduling by customers. Now that production has reached design levels, sales and production volumes are expected to be comparable on an annualised basis. New contracts signed during the year for the delivery of 2.8Mlb from 2012 to 2016 at pricing from mid to low US$60's/lb. as well as extension of existing contract for the delivery of more than 1.0Mlb over the same period at market-related pricing. Mid-term contract signed in August 2012 to deliver 6.3Mlb from late 2012 to the end of 2015 at approximately 2Mlb pa. Pricing will be determined predominately by the market price at the time of delivery. Term market interest by nuclear utilities in all regions has increased recently for deliveries commencing in 2013-2014, which will provide additional multi-year contracting opportunities in an improving long-term market. Cash Cost of Sales (C1 cost):Average C1 cash cost component of cost of sales for the year increased to US$39/lb (2011: US$35/lb). Langer Heinrich Mine C1 cash cost component of cost of sales for the year increased to US$31/lb U3O8 from US$28/lb U3O8 in 2011, mainly due to disruption problems with Stage 3 tie-ins. Kayelekera Mine C1 cash cost component of cost of sales for the year (before adjustments for impairments) increased to US$54/lb from US$50/lb in 2011 mainly due to disruption problems with the plant shutdown, unscheduled remediation work and the industrial dispute. The benefits of increased production levels and cost benefits from the cost optimisation programme will be realised in the 2013 financial year. Cost optimisation continues to be a key focus, with specific target areas including acid, reagents, diesel, transportation and providing increased opportunities for local workers. Major benefits from these cost reductions are expected over the next 18 months. Profit and Loss Year Ended 30 June20122011US$MUS$MRevenue367.4268.9C1 cost(1)(256.7)(170.9)Impairment loss in prior year relating to inventory sold during the year23.4-Impairment - inventory and stores(39.0)(26.4)Royalties and distribution(19.1)(15.2)Depreciation and amortisation(49.3)(36.1)Gross profit26.720.3Exploration expenses(2.5)(3.0)Site non-production costs(19.8)(14.9)Corporate, marketing and administration(21.0)(26.5)(16.6)(24.1)Non-cash costs(9.0)(12.6)Other income & expenses(197.2)(6.9)Loss before interest and tax(222.8)(43.6)Finance costs(56.7)(61.5)Loss before income tax(279.5)(105.1)Income tax benefit78.716.6Loss after tax(200.8)(88.5)Non-controlling interests28.06.2Net loss after tax attributable to members of the parent(172.8)(82.3)(1) Cash cost of sales (C1 cost) = cost of sales excluding impairment, product distribution costs, sales royalties and depreciation and amortisation.Gross profit for the year increased to US$26.7M from US$20.3M in 2011 due to higher sales volumes which has been partially offset by lower average prices and a US$39.0M impairment of inventories and stores at the Kayelekera Mine (2011: US$26.4M). Adding back amortisation and depreciation of US$49.3M for 2012 (2011: US$36.1M), gross profit before amortisation and depreciation increased to US$76M in 2012, up from US$56.4M in 2011. Site non-production costs for the year were higher at US$19.8M due to higher royalties on increased sales, increased activity at the Canadian operations following the lifting of the moratorium and the Stage 4 expansion evaluation study. Corporate and marketing costs were US$5M lower for the year due to cost savings achieved through the cost rationalisation programme, announced to the market in the latter half of 2011. Tighter control has led to a reduction in corporate overheads. Non-cash costs, mainly share-based payments, for the year were reduced from US$12.6M to US$9.0M as a result of a reduction in share rights issued in this period. Other income and expenses mainly reflect the September 2011 impairment of the Kayelekera Mine asset expense of US$178.0M pre-tax (US$133M post-tax) caused by the deterioration of uranium prices since events in Japan in March 2011, the write-off of fixed costs during the plant shutdown of US$9.7M and an impairment of available-for-sale assets of US$8.0M. Finance costs have decreased by US$4.8M due to a portion of the Langer Heinrich Mine Stage 3 project finance loan being capitalised as part of the Stage 3 construction costs and in 2011 finance costs included a US$4.6M non-cash loss on convertible bond buy-back. Net loss after tax of US$172.8M was recorded for the year, mainly as a result of the US$133M (post-tax) impairment associated with the write down of the Kayelekera assets in the quarter ended September 2011. Cash Flow:Positive cash flow of US$113.3M generated by the Langer Heinrich and Kayelekera mine operations for the year before investment of US$85.0M into inventory working capital required to support higher production levels, payments for administration, marketing and non-production costs of US$50.2M, exploration of US$2.5M and net interest paid of US$36.6M. Sales revenue of US$52M relating to deliveries in June 2012 was shown as a trade receivable as at 30 June 2012. The proceeds were received in July 2012. Cash outflow from investing activities was US$82.2M relating mainly to the completion of the Stage 3 expansion and capitalisation of exploration costs. Positive cash flow from financing activities of US$201.5M is mainly attributable to the US$139M net proceeds from the Langer Heinrich project financing, US$62.6M net proceeds from the share placement, net US$77.1M from the placement of US$274M convertible bond offset by partial buyback of US$191M of the US$325M convertible bond, offset by project financing payments of US$77.2M. Cash Position:Cash of US$112.1M at 30 June 2012. Long-term Off-take Contract with a US$200M prepayment On 15 August 2012, a six-year off-take agreement was entered into with a major utility to deliver a total of 13.73Mlb U3O8 in the period from 2019 to 2024. A prepayment of $200M will be made to the Company for part of the future product deliveries. To secure the Company's obligations under the off-take agreement, the utility will hold security over 60.1% of the Company's Michelin project in Canada. The percentage of Michelin secured will be reduced by joint agreement as the value of that project is enhanced by Paladin's ongoing work. The Michelin security can also be replaced by other appropriate security if required. The remaining US$134M of March 2013 convertible bonds are expected to be repaid from proceeds of this. Exploration and DevelopmentIn Labrador, Canada, the three-year moratorium on the mining, development and production of uranium ended providing access to the Michelin deposit and validating Paladin's decision to acquire the Aurora uranium assets at a discounted price of US$1.90/lb U3O8. This has cleared the way to re-commence work on the project and substantial long-term resource increases are expected. The documents comprising the Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 2012, including the Report to Shareholders, Management Discussion and Analysis and Financial Statements and Certifications are attached and will be filed with the Company's other documents on Sedar (www.sedar.com) and on the Company's website (paladinenergy.com.au). Generally Accepted Accounting PracticeThe news release includes non-GAAP performance measures: Cash cost of sales (C1 cost), gross profit before amortisation and depreciation, non-cash costs as well as other income and expenses. The Company believes that, in addition to the conventional measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, the Company and certain investors use this information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow. The additional information provided herein should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. DeclarationThe information in this Announcement relating to exploration and mineral resources is, except where stated, based on information compiled by David Princep B.Sc who is a Fellow of the AusIMM. Mr Princep has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity that he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves", and as a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101. Mr Princep is a full-time employee of Paladin Energy Ltd and consents to the inclusion of this information in the form and context in which it appears.Conference CallConference Call and Investor Update scheduled for 06:30 Perth & Hong Kong, Friday 31 August 2012, 18:30 Toronto and 23:30 London, Thursday 30 August 2012. Details were included in a separate news release made on 27 August 2012.To view the Year End, Financials, and MD&A associated with this release, please click the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/PDNYearEnd.pdf ACN 061 681 098FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John BorshoffPaladin Energy LtdManaging Director/CEO+61-8-9381-4366 or Mobile: +61-419-912-571john.borshoff@paladinenergy.com.auORAlan RulePaladin Energy LtdChief Financial Officer+61-8-9381-4366 or Mobile: +61-438-942-144alan.rule@paladinenergy.com.auORGreg TaylorPaladin Energy LtdInvestor Relations Contact+1 905-337-7673 or Mobile: +1 416-605-5120 (Toronto)greg.taylor@paladinenergy.com.auORMatthew KeanePaladin Energy LtdInvestor Relations Contact+61-8-9381-4366 or Mobile: +61-407-682-974matthew.keane@paladinenergy.com.auwww.paladinenergy.com.au