South African gold mining company DRDGOLD took first place in the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards for 2020, at a virtual event held last week. DRDGOLD re-mines old mining dumps in and around Johannesburg in Gauteng.
The awards acknowledge Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies which have earned the highest returns for their shareholders over the last five years. To determine the winner, the share price performance of listed companies is assessed over a rolling five-year period, using a hypothetical initial investment amount of R10 000.
This year’s investment measurement period ran from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2020, with the winning company, DRDGOLD, being the one which created the highest return for shareholders over that period, assuming reinvestment of all dividends, bonus share allotments and special payments.
DRDGOLD CEO Niël Pretorius, who accepted the award on behalf of the company, comments: “We are very proud to have set the business up in such a way as to take full advantage of the higher gold price, and we are very pleased with the market response to our performance!”
Operationally in its 2020 financial year ended 30 June 2020, DRDGOLD increased gold production year-on-year by 9% in spite of the Covid-19 national lockdown. Operating profit was 320% higher at R1 562.1 million, reflecting the increase in gold produced and sold and a 33% increase in the average rand gold price received.
The company declared a final dividend of 35 cents per share, making a total distribution for the year of 85 cents per share. This was the 13th consecutive year of dividend payments by the company. At the end of June 2020, its share price was R26.95 which was 528% higher than at the start of the financial year. Its market capitalisation in the same period increased by 680%, from R2.988 billion to R23.301 billion.
In support of social distancing initiatives, and as a sign of respect to South Africa’s frontline workers, the usual gala dinner was replaced by a winner’s announcement streamed online.