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Crescent Point Energy Corp. is raising its quarterly dividend after what it says has been significant progress in improving its balance sheet strength and sustainability.

The company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of three cents per share starting with its payment for the fourth quarter.

Crescent Point slashed its dividend at the start of the pandemic last year to a quarterly rate of 0.25 of a cent per share.

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The increased payment to shareholders came as the company said it expects its production next year to be between 131,000 and 135,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The preliminary estimate is based on development capital expenditures of $825-million to $900-million.

Excess cash flow, after dividends, is expected to be $625-million to $875-million.

“We are prioritizing debt reduction as part of our capital allocation framework including the establishment of a core dividend that is sustainable, provides flexibility and has the ability to grow over time,” Crescent Point CEO Craig Bryksa said in a statement.

“We are committed to a model that returns capital to shareholders while also generating returns through debt-adjusted per share growth.”

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