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Santos Q2 Production Down; To Consider Dividend Payout

Santos Ltd. (STOSF.PK,SSLTY.PK,STO.AX) reported that second quarter production declined to 14.2 million barrels of oil equivalent or mmboe from 14.7 mmboe last year.

The company said its new dividend policy will see the company look to pay ordinary dividends that are sustainable through the oil price cycle and will target a range of 10% to 30% payout of free cash flow per annum. The Board will also consider additional returns to shareholders above the ordinary dividend when business conditions permit.

The company noted that it remains on track to achieve its net debt reduction target in the second half of 2018, more than a year ahead of schedule, and it now has a significantly stronger balance sheet and cash flows to support its growth strategy.

As at 30 June 2018, Santos had cash and cash equivalents of US$1.5 billion and total debt of US$3.9 billion, resulting in net debt of US$2.4 billion. Net debt includes US$145 million oil hedging mark-to-market liability.

Sales volumes, production and production cost guidance for 2018 is maintained. Capital expenditure and DD&A guidance have both been lowered reflecting current internal forecasts and timing of expenditures.

During the second quarter, Santos announced the sale of its non-core Asian assets for US$221 million. Completion of the sale is expected in the second half of 2018 and Santos will continue to book production and sales volumes from the assets until the completion date.

Santos said it will release its results for the first-half ended 30 June 2018 on Thursday 23 August 2018.

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