TORONTO – Franco-Nevada Corp. announced fourth-quarter earnings of $176.7 million, or 93 cents per share, up 56% over the 2019 quarter, and record earnings for the year 2020.
The fourth-quarter net income compared with $113.3 million in the 2019 quarter, and the company reported adjusted net income of $163 million, or 85 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with $110.8 million, or 59 cents per share, in the 2019 quarter.
For the year, Franco-Nevada announced net income of $362.2 million, or $1.71 per share, and adjusted net income of $341.5 million, or $1.82 per share, according to the March 10 earnings report.
“In 2020, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the diversity of our portfolio, the commitment of our staff, and the resolve of the employees and communities at our assets,” said Paul Brink, chief executive officer of the precious metals streaming and royalty company.
“With record precious metals prices through the year and the recovery of energy prices in the second half of the year, Franco-Nevada generated record financial results,” he said.
Brink also reported an increase in the quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share starting with the second-quarter dividend payment in June, saying the company is “proud that this 15.4% increase will mark our 14th annual dividend increase.”
Franco-Nevada, which has roughly 400 assets worldwide, including 51 producing mines and 57 producing energy projects, reported that one of its U.S. assets, South Arturo north of Carlin, is looking at expanding the El Nino underground mine and proposing Phase I open pit mining.
Franco-Nevada has a 4-9% royalty at South Arturo and a 7.29% royalty at the Gold Quarry Mine north of Carlin, where the company expects its royalty to decrease to roughly 5,500 gold equivalent ounces this year and to 1,350 ounces per year after this year.
Gold Quarry and South Arturo are part of the Nevada Gold Mines operations in Nevada, where Franco-Nevada was the original owner of the Midas Mine in Elko County.
For the fourth quarter, the company reported gold equivalent ounces sold totaled 147,476, down from 153,396 ounces sold in the 2019 quarter. Higher contributions from Hemlo in Canada and Cobre Panama, Antapaccay and Antamina in Latin America were partly offset by lower contributions from Candelaria in Latin America and Gold Quarry in Nevada.
Franco-Nevada also announced that on March 8, the company closed a $165 million precious metal stream with reference to the gold and silver production from the Candestable Mine, an underground copper, gold and silver mine near Lima, Peru.
Earlier, the company acquired a royalty portfolio in late December in the Haynesville natural gas play in Texas for $135 million.