Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc Results for the Quarter ended 30 September 2018

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company”) announces its operating and financial results for the third quarter of 2018 (“Q3” or the “Quarter”).

Gold production in the Quarter was 13,978 ounces, 2.9 per cent below the quarter ended September 30, 2017 (the “comparable quarter”); gold production for the nine months to September 30, 2018 was 39,558 ounces, 0.4 per cent down on the corresponding period of 2017. Adjusted earnings per share for the Quarter of 33.1 cents were 17 per cent lower than the comparable quarter, due to a slightly weaker realised gold price and increased production costs but 24.4 per cent higher for the nine months to September 30, 2018 compared to the same period of 2017 due to the increased export credit incentive and a higher average realised gold price for the nine months. Net cash from operating activities remained robust at $6.8 million although this was lower than the comparable quarter which was an unusually strong quarter. Net cash at the end of the Quarter was $5.9 million.

Commenting on the results, Steve Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The third quarter of 2018 (the “Quarter”) was an improvement on the second quarter of the year:  we addressed some of the operating challenges which the business experienced in previous quarters; cost control remained good; and Caledonia stabilized its cash position and working capital movements.

“Production of 13,978 ounces was 3 per cent down on the third quarter of 2017 (the “comparable quarter”) and marginally below our expectations. We took the decision to tighten and slightly reduce our 2018 full year production guidance from our original guidance range of 55,000 to 59,000 ounces to a range of 54,000 to 56,000 ounces.”

“Grade for the Quarter remained below expectations at 3.12g/t as we continued to experience some mining dilution due to the introduction of long-hole stopping in the narrower reef width areas due to safety considerations. Corrective measures have been taken to improve the accuracy of drilling which are expected to result in improved mined grades in the remainder of the last quarter of 2018 and thereafter. We remain confident that the underlying geological model for Blanket and the grade of the resource remains sound. I am pleased that the mine was to some extent able to compensate for lower grades through increased plant throughput, an effort that has contributed substantially to the Quarter’s performance. Tonnes milled during the Quarter were significantly higher at 151,000 tonnes, 14 per cent higher than the second quarter of 2018 and 11 per cent higher than the comparable quarter.”

“Working capital returned towards normal levels during the Quarter after some significant adverse movements in the previous quarter. The net cash balance of $5.9 million at the end of the Quarter is a modest improvement on the preceding quarter and the ability of our business to generate cash remains robust. Post-tax operating cashflows in the Quarter after working capital movements were $6.8 million, sufficient to support both capital investment during the Quarter of $5.2 million and the quarterly dividend payment to Caledonia’s shareholders.”

“The Central Shaft has now reached a depth of 1,148 meters and continues to progress well. We expect capex to decline as we progress towards the commissioning of the Central Shaft in 2020. The Central Shaft project is the key enabler of longer term value for our shareholders as we progress towards our production and cost targets by 2021.”

“Our cost performance for the Quarter was satisfactory, especially considering the below expected grade. On-mine and all-in sustaining costs were well-contained: on-mine costs of $670 per ounce for the Quarter were 5 per cent higher than the comparable quarter due to elevated equipment maintenance and consumables costs. All-in sustaining costs of $754 per ounce were 2.5 per cent below the comparable quarter as we continue to benefit from a higher ECI. We remain confident in our longer-term cost guidance target of $700 to $800 per ounce as the business grows towards 80,000 ounces per year by 2021.”

“Recent changes in the banking environment in Zimbabwe and the chronic shortage of foreign exchange in Zimbabwe may present challenges with regards to operating cost inflation, and the ability to implement the capital investment programme at Blanket and to externalise cash from Zimbabwe. Operations at Blanket are currently continuing as normal and the situation is being closely monitored by management and is receiving the highest levels of attention from Zimbabwean Monetary and Government authorities. Caledonia is actively and constructively engaged at the appropriate levels in government on a regular and ongoing basis.”

“We are also pleased to announce that on November 5, 2018 we entered into a legally binding sale agreement with one of the indigenous shareholders of Blanket Mine (1983) (Private) Limited (“Blanket Mine”), Fremiro Investments (Private) Limited, to purchase its 15 per cent shareholding in Blanket Mine in exchange for the issue of 727,266 new common shares in Caledonia at a price of $7.15 each and the cancellation of the balance of their facilitation loan. Once this transaction, which is subject to various conditions, has been completed, Caledonia’s shareholding in Blanket Mine will increase to 64 per cent and Fremiro will hold 6.4 per cent of Caledonia’s diluted equity.  This transaction is an important step for Caledonia and I look forward to updating the market as the transaction progresses.”

Caledonia continues to consolidate Blanket Mine for reporting purposes and the operational and the financial information set out below is on a 100 per cent basis unless otherwise indicated.

Strategy and Outlook

Caledonia remains on track to achieve the production target of 80,000 ounces per year by 2021 at its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Blanket Mine. Caledonia’s strategic focus is the Central Shaft project which is expected to extend the life of mine by providing access to deeper levels for production and further exploration.  Caledonia’s board and management believe the successful completion of the Central Shaft is in the best interests of all stakeholders because it is expected to result in increased production, reduced operating costs and increased flexibility to undertake further exploration and development, thereby safeguarding and enhancing Blanket’s long-term future. Difficulties in obtaining sufficient foreign exchange may jeopardise Caledonia’s ability to implement the Central Shaft project as planned. Caledonia intends to evaluate further investment opportunities in Zimbabwe that may not fall underneath Blanket’s ownership.

Dividend Policy

Caledonia pays a quarterly dividend of 6.875 US cents per share at the end of January, April, July and October respectively. The profitability and cash generation of Blanket Mine remains strong, however, Caledonia’s ability to pay dividends is dependent on the ability of its group to make payments from Zimbabwe.

Note:  This announcement contains inside information which is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, and our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors.

Security holders, potential security holders and other prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs, risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase and currency fluctuations.  Security holders, potential security holders and other prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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Osisko Declares 17th Consecutive Quarterly Dividend

Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd ("Osisko" or the "Company") (TSX:OR) (NYSE:OR) is pleased to announce a fourth quarter 2018 dividend of $0.05 per common share. The dividend will be paid on January 15, 2019 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 31, 2018.

For shareholders residing in the United States, the U.S. dollar equivalent will be determined based on the daily rate published by the Bank of Canada on December 31, 2018. This dividend is an "eligible dividend" as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Sean Roosen, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Osisko, noted: “With the declaration of the 17th consecutive quarterly dividend, we are pleased to return a significant portion of our operating cash flow to our owners. With the payment of this dividend, we will have distributed approximatively C$78.5 million since 2014.”

The Company also wishes to remind its shareholders that it has implemented a dividend reinvestment plan (the “Plan”). Shareholders who are residents of Canada and the United States may elect to participate in the Plan in connection with the dividend to be paid on January 15, 2019 to shareholders on record as of December 31, 2018. If a shareholder elects to participate in the Plan, the Company will issue to the shareholder, in lieu of a cash dividend, common shares from treasury at a 3% discount to the weighted average price of the common shares during the five (5) trading days immediately preceding the dividend payment date. Participation in the Plan is optional and will not affect a shareholders’ cash dividends if the shareholder elects not to participate in the Plan. Quarterly dividends are only payable as and when declared by Osisko’s Board of Directors.

A complete copy of the Plan and the enrolment form are available on Osisko’s website at http://osiskogr.com/en/dividends/drip/. Shareholders should carefully read the complete text of the Plan before making any decisions regarding their participation in the Plan.

Non-registered beneficial shareholders who wish to participate in the Plan should contact their financial advisor, broker, investment dealer, bank or other financial institution that holds their common shares to inquire about the applicable enrolment deadline and to request enrolment in the Plan. For more information on how to enroll or any other inquiries, contact the Agent at 1-800-387-0825 (toll-free in Canada) or inquiries@canstockta.com.

Participation in the Plan does not relieve shareholders of any liability for taxes that may be payable in respect of dividends that are reinvested in common shares under the Plan. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors concerning the tax implications of their participation in the Plan having regard to their particular circumstances.

This press release is not an offer or a solicitation of an offer of securities.

About Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd

Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd is an intermediate precious metal royalty company that holds a North American focused portfolio of over 130 royalties, streams and precious metal offtakes. Osisko’s portfolio is anchored by its 5% NSR royalty on the Canadian Malartic Mine, which is the largest gold mine in Canada. Osisko also owns a portfolio of publicly held resource companies, including a 32.4% interest in Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., a 17.9% interest in Osisko Mining Inc., a 15.5% interest in Victoria Gold Corp., a 12.6% interest in Falco Resources Ltd and an 11.4% interest in Osisko Metals Incorporated.

Osisko is a corporation incorporated under the laws of the Province of Québec, with its head office located at 1100 avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Suite 300, Montréal, Québec, H3B 2S2.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws. These forward-looking statements, by their nature, require the Company to make certain assumptions and necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. In this news release, these forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to the directors and officers of the Company, information pertaining to the fact that all conditions for payment of the dividend will be met and that such dividend will continue to be an “eligible dividend” as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada). Words such as "may", "will", "would", "could", "expect", "believe", "plan", "anticipate", "intend", "estimate", "continue", or the negative or comparable terminology, as well as terms usually used in the future and the conditional, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Information contained in forward-looking statements is based upon certain material assumptions that were applied in drawing a conclusion or making a forecast or projection, including that the financial situation of the Company will remain favourable. The Company considers its assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available, but cautions the reader that its assumptions regarding future events, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, may ultimately prove to be incorrect since they are subject to risks and uncertainties that affect the Company and its business.

For additional information with respect to these and other factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements made in this press release, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the most recent Annual Information Form of Osisko which is filed with the Canadian securities commissions and available electronically under Osisko’s issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available electronically under Osisko’s issuer profile on EDGAR at www.sec.gov. The forward-looking information set forth herein reflects Osisko’s expectations as at the date of this press release and is subject to change after such date. Osisko disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.

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Forecast confirmed: Double-digit growth dynamics continue – On the way to the midterm goal 200+: Further growth steps planned for 2018/2019

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– Revenues rise 10% to 102.8 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 93.3 million euros)
– Significant EBT growth of plus 13% to 20.5 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18.1 million euros), EBT margin on revenues at record level of 20%
– All earnings margins remain at high level:

  • EBITDA plus 13%, margin 29% of total output and 31% of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 28% and 31%)
  • EBIT plus 13%, margin 18% of total output and 20% of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18% and 20%)
  • EBT plus 13%, margin 18% of total output and 20% of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18% and 19%)

– Gross margin 61% of total output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 61%) and 57% of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 57%)
– Net cash flow rises slightly to 5.6 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 5.3 million euros)
– Net liquidity increases to 4.4 million euros (September 30, 2017: -1.3 million euros)
– Strong order backlog of approx. 90 million euros gross (PY: 83 million euros gross)
– Customer service and support expands again – double-digit contribution to revenues
– Next acquisition in preparation
– New products and innovation roadmap boost demand
– Business unit  "Advanced Materials" – former "Plastics" – broadens market approach
– Profitable growth for the financial year of approx. 10% expected, earnings margins at least at the high level of previous quarters

ISRA VISION AG (ISIN: DE 0005488100) – the TecDAX company for industrial image processing (machine vision) and one of the world’s leading suppliers of surface inspection solutions for web materials and of 3D machine vision applications – continues its profitable growth also in the third quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year with double-digit improvements in revenues and earnings and thus successfully maintains the dynamic of the first half of the financial year. As forecasted, revenues increase by 10 percent against the same period of the previous year to 102.8 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 93.3 million euros), while EBT rise significantly by 13 percent to 20.5 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18.1 million euros). The EBT margin was thus one percentage point higher at 20 percent of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 19%), thereby achieving the long-term target for the first time. In respect to total output, the EBT margin is 18 percent, just as in the previous year (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18%).

The net cash flow was up slightly at 5.6 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 5.3 million euros). With the equity ratio higher by 3 percentage points at 65 percent (September 30, 2017: 62%) and the available credit lines, ISRA has solid capital resources for future growth and is optimally prepared for potential acquisition projects. With a high order backlog of approx. 90 million euros gross (PY: 83 million euros gross), the Company can confirm its targets for the financial year and is set for a good start to the traditionally strong fourth quarter.

ISRA continues to increase its profitability also in the first nine months of the 2017/2018 financial year. EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) rise by 13 percent to 32.1 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 28.5 million euros), resulting in an EBITDA margin of 31 percent of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 31%) and 29 percent of total output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 28%). EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) also increase by 13 percent to 20.7 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18.4 million euros), with an EBIT margin of 20 percent of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 20%) and 18 percent of total output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18%). EBT (Earnings Before Taxes) likewise grow significantly by 13 percent to 20.5 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18.1 million euros), with the EBT margin thus amounting to 20 percent of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 19%) and 18 percent of total output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18%). At 61 percent of total output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 61%) and 57 percent of revenues (Q3-YTD-16/17: 57%), the gross margin (revenues/total output less cost of materials and costs of labor in production and engineering) is again at the high level of the same period of the previous year.

Against the backdrop of the dynamic order situation and in preparation for the anticipated strong fourth quarter, inventories rise to 38.3 million euros (September 30, 2017: 32.7 million euros). Trade receivables, which comprise systems already delivered and invoiced of 39.8 million euros in addition to receivables according to the percentage-of-completion method of 53.2 million euros, declined to 93.0 million euros (September 30, 2017: 98.0 million euros). Operating cash flow amounts to 18.3 million euros in the reporting period (Q3-YTD-16/17: 23.3 million euros). Continued measures to enhance productivity and efficiency in production processes and to specifically expand regional management in the area of “Operations and Production” are already planned and will allow additional potential to be leveraged in the coming quarters.

The Company paid out a dividend in the total amount of 2.6 million euros – 0.5 million euros higher than in the previous year – and achieves a slightly increased net cash flow of 5.6 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 5.3 million euros). Following the complete reduction of net debt in the preceding quarters, net liquidity also rises further to 4.4 million euros (September 30, 2017: -1.3 million euros). Earnings per share (EPS) after taxes increase by 16 percent to 0,66 euro (Q3-YTD-16/17: 2.85 euro or 0.57 euro adjusted for the higher number of shares following the stock split on May 23, 2018 for improved comparability).

ISRA’s strong international corporate footprint makes it one of the best positioned providers in the machine vision industry. In the future, its global network of more than 25 locations worldwide will be extended further as continuous international expansion in key industrial centers is a major factor for long-term success. Earnings in all regions are once again at a high level after the third quarter, and the Company is recording strong double-digit growth rates in Europe. In Asia as well, revenues are outperforming the already successful previous year. The dynamic on the American markets is similar to that in the same period of the previous year. By expanding its management, ISRA is planning to tap further revenue potential in a currently positive market environment – particularly in North America.

Both Surface Vision and Industrial Automation once again achieve significant growth in the reporting period. With its innovative robot vision and inline measurement products in the Industrial Automation segment, ISRA delivers to a broad customer base of international automotive manufacturers – including renowned premium producers – and leading companies in other industries. Significant revenue impulses were generated at this year’s AUTOMATICA, one of the  most important trade fairs for industrial automation. In addition to successful solutions for 3D assembly, fully automated paint inspection on car bodies, 3D inline measurement technology and adhesive seam inspection, there was particularly strong demand for “TOUCH & AUTOMATE” products prepared specially for INDUSTRIE 4.0 with a new multi-stereo approach. Revenues rose by 12 percent compared to the same period of the previous year to 25.5 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 22.8 million euros). Segment EBIT grows by 14 percent to 5.1 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 4.5 million euros) – a margin of 18 percent to total segment output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18%).

Revenues in the Surface Vision segment increase by 10 percent to 77.4 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 70.5 million euros). EBIT rises to 15.7 million euros (Q3-YTD-16/17: 13.9 million euros), giving the segment a margin of 19 percent of total output (Q3-YTD-16/17: 18%). In addition to the large scale order for thin glass inspection for display applications (press release dated April 26, 2018), the management of the glass business unit record further order entries from Asia in particular. In the metals industry, the process analysis modules for quality enhancement and production optimization, as well as for 3D inspection solutions that are used at the beginning of the value chain and minimize downstream rejects are achieving further revenue growth. For historical reasons, revenues generated from more than 40 different materials – including some not directly from the plastics industry – have been aggregated in the plastics business unit. ISRA is now strategically repositioning the Plastics business, putting it up even broader and with an extended focus on innovative materials, which is reflected in the name change to Advanced Materials. With this extended focus, the Company addresses additional revenue potential, while simultaneously strengthening international sales for a targeted approach of these customers. The product innovations for the inspection of printed products have been well received on the market, and the dynamic of this business is at a high level. Cost-optimized products in the paper industry are resulting in significant growth in revenues and, last but not least, the business unit’s performance is also benefiting from the augmentation of management. The security business unit – formerly specialty paper – is expanding its product portfolio of specialized inspection solutions for high-security paper to include fully automated quality assurance for high-security printing, and is currently witnessing further growth. Solar industry revenues develop positively; further potential is anticipated from the “CONNECTED PHOTOVOLTAICS 4.0” software tools for high product quality in multi-line-production – even spread over different locations. In the relatively new semiconductor business unit, the Company has successfully acquired further strategic orders for the inspection of glass wafers and continues its focus on the market launch in Asia. Service products again contribute with double-digits to revenues in the third quarter; to increase the unit’s contribution to total revenues, management is being enhanced in the next months.

ISRA is constantly consolidating its continuous operational growth by expanding its personnel structures and positioning experienced managers in strategic key areas. Along the value chain – including at global level – in Supply Chain, Production and Operations, Digital Business Development, Marketing and Sales in particular, the Company is creating the functional and organizational prerequisites for achieving the revenue target of more than 200 million euros.

In the regions, a further focus lies on the expansion of the infrastructure as well as recruiting further specialists and executive staff: Together with additional office and production capacities at the branches in Shanghai, São Paulo, Berlin, Herten and Darmstadt the departments Sales, Operations as well as the local management are being stepped up at the global locations, including Brazil, the UK, India and the US in particular.

In addition to organic growth, acquisitions are a key component of the long-term strategy, with a focus on target companies that strategically add to ISRA’s technology portfolio, grow its market share and tap new markets. Management is currently analyzing several acquisition projects; for one of these projects – target company generating revenues in the mid-double digit million euros range – the evaluation process is in an advanced stage. Given ISRA’s strong financial position and high equity share, it is a realistic option to finance the acquisition with own funds and borrowed capital.

The current innovation dynamics which is generating further demand with new products, the expansion of branches in various regions, investment in strategically important market areas and the high order backlog of approx. 90 million euros gross (previous year: 83 million euros gross) form a good basis for the traditionally strong fourth quarter and a positive performance in the months ahead. For the financial year, the Company is expecting growth in revenues and EBT at a low double-digit percentage range. In terms of earnings, management is planning to achieve increased or at least stable margins on the current high level. International expansion, operational productivity and cash flow optimization and a strong market position remain top priorities to achieve the revenue dimension of more than 200 million euros through both organic and anorganic growth in the medium term.

Further information is available at www.isravision.com.

ISRA VISION AG voluntarily publishes a pro forma consolidated total operating revenue EBITDA-EBIT statement typical for the industry oriented to the cost-summary method. The key differences between the cost of sales method and the pro forma consolidated total operating revenue EBITDA-EBIT calculation are as follows: Profit margins increase because they are now associated with net sales instead of total output (net sales plus capitalized work). Capitalized work no longer appears in the cost of sales method and is assigned to the R&D functional area. Depreciation and amortization is now spread over the relevant functional areas. The EBIT earnings and the EBT earnings of the pro forma consolidated total operating revenue EBITDA-EBIT statement do not deviate from the consolidated income statement, which corresponds to IFRS.

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Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc: Caledonia increases its shareholding in Blanket Mine to 64 per cent (NYSE AMERICAN: CMCL; AIM: CMCL; TSX: CAL)

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company” – http://www.commodity-tv.net/c/search_adv/?v=298338 ) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Fremiro Investments (Private) Limited (“Fremiro”) with the intention to purchase Femiro’s 15% shareholding in Blanket Mine (1983) (Private) Limited (“Blanket”). The transaction remains subject to approvals from various Zimbabwean regulatory authorities and the execution of a legally binding sale agreement.

Highlights

– Caledonia has entered into an MOU with Fremiro to purchase Fremiro’s 15% shareholding in Blanket.
– Caledonia will acquire Fremiro’s shareholding in Blanket for a gross consideration of $16.667 million to be settled through a combination of:

  • the cancellation of the loan between the two entities which stood at $11.467 million as at June 30, 2018; and
  • the issue of 727,266 new shares in Caledonia at an issue price of $7.15 per share.

– On completion of the transaction, Caledonia will have a 64 per cent shareholding in Blanket and Fremiro will hold 6.42 per cent of Caledonia’s diluted equity.

Background

Fremiro acquired its 15% shareholding in Blanket when Caledonia implemented transactions in 2012 in compliance with the Zimbabwean Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (the “Act”). As part of the transactions, Caledonia sold 41% of Blanket Mine to the following indigenous Zimbabwean shareholders:

Fremiro                                                                                                                           –           15%
The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (“NIEEF”)      –           16%
Blanket Employee Trust Services (Private) Limited                                                –           10%

The financing of these acquisitions was facilitated through approximately $30m of facilitation loans to the above parties apportioned pro rata between the parties based on shareholding.

In addition, 10% of Blanket was donated to the local community in the form of the Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust.

Following amendments to the Act passed in March 2018 which removed the 51% indigenisation requirement for gold mining businesses, Caledonia and NIEEF have agreed to enter into a transaction whereby Caledonia purchases Fremiro’s 15% shareholding in Blanket.

On completion of the transaction, Caledonia will have an effective 64% shareholding in Blanket with the constituent Blanket shareholders as follows:

Wholly-owned subsidiaries of Caledonia                                              –      64%
NIEEF                                                                                                          –      16%
Blanket Employee Trust Services (Private) Limited                             –      10%
Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust                                       –      10%

In line with previous public statements, Caledonia has expressed an interest in increasing its shareholding in Blanket, a strategy of which the above transaction forms a key component.

Commenting on the transaction, Steve Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We are delighted to agree a transaction with Fremiro for the purchase of their 15% stake in Blanket; they have been a supportive shareholder of Blanket since 2012 and we welcome them as shareholders in Caledonia. 

“Blanket is well-advanced on implementing the investment programme which commenced in early 2015 and is expected to result in Blanket achieving an annual production rate of at least 80,000 ounces per annum by 2021, at a low cash cost. Caledonia is evaluating further investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.  Such new opportunities, if they result in one or more transactions, are likely to be held directly by Caledonia and/or its subsidiaries rather than by Blanket.  By moving its participation up from Blanket to Caledonia, Fremiro is well-positioned to participate with Caledonia in any further investment opportunities.     

“We are also very pleased to increase our shareholding in Blanket to a majority stake, moving from 49 per cent to 64 per cent following this transaction. Blanket Mine has been an excellent investment for Caledonia since we originally invested in Zimbabwe in 2006 and we are delighted to be able to increase our shareholding in this outstanding asset.

“Today’s transaction forms an important step in our stated goal of increasing our shareholding in Blanket since the Zimbabwean government removed the indigenisation requirement for gold mining businesses earlier this year.

“We look forward to evaluating further investment opportunities in Zimbabwe as they become available”.

Related Party Transaction

The acquisition of Fremiro’s shareholding in Blanket constitutes a related party transaction for the purposes of Rule 13 of the AIM Rules for Companies.  Accordingly, the independent directors of Caledonia, being all of the directors, having consulted with WH Ireland Limited, the Company’s nominated adviser, have concluded that the terms of the transaction are fair and reasonable insofar as the interest of shareholders are concerned.

Strategy and Outlook

Caledonia remains on track to achieve the production target of 80,000 ounces by 2021 at the mine operated by its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Blanket. The Company’s strategic focus continues to be the implementation of the Investment Plan at the mine, which was announced in November 2014 and revised in November 2017 with an extension to the Central Shaft project and is expected to extend the life of mine by providing access to deeper levels for production and further exploration.  Implementation of the Investment Plan remains on target in terms of timing and cost.  Caledonia’s board and management believe the successful implementation of the Investment Plan is in the best interests of all stakeholders because it is expected to result in increased production, reduced operating costs and greater flexibility to undertake further exploration and development, thereby safeguarding and enhancing the mine’s long-term future.  Caledonia’s cash position is expected to improve as a result of the implementation of the Investment Plan; Caledonia will continue to assess new opportunities to invest surplus cash.

Dividend Policy

A quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents is Caledonia’s current dividend policy which it is envisaged will be maintained.

Swiss Resource Capital AG
info@resource-capital.ch
www.resource-capital.ch

Note:  This announcement contains inside information which is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “envisage”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, and our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors.

Securityholders, potential securityholders and other prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs, risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase and currency fluctuations.  Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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First half-year 2018: Jenoptik increases revenue and significantly improves earnings; outlook for the full year raised

“The development of our Group’s business has been very pleasing. All segments contributed to growth in the first half-year. Demand remains buoyant in our key markets. On this basis, and with the successful acquisition of Prodomax Automation in Canada as well as the initial steps taken to reorganize our business in Asia, we look into the second half-year with a lot of confidence. Therefore, we raised our revenue guidance to between 805 and 820 million euros in July. The management now also raises 2018 profit targets for the combined businesses to around 15 percent EBITDA margin and around 11 percent EBIT margin on the higher revenue, including purchase price allocation impacts,” says Stefan Traeger, President & CEO of the Executive Board of JENOPTIK AG.

Revenue up 10.4 percent; strong growth particularly in Germany

In the first six months, group revenue rose by 10.4 percent, to 384.7 million euros (prior year: 348.4 million euros). This increase was due to continuing good demand for optical systems for the semiconductor equipment industry, as well as for systems from the Healthcare & Industry area. The traffic safety area also significantly helped to boost growth in Germany – thanks to deliveries of toll monitoring systems.

In the German market, revenue increased by a total of 27.4 percent to 125.5 million euros (prior year: 98.6 million euros). A strong revenue increase of 15.7 percent was also achieved in Europe. In total, the share of revenue generated abroad came to 67.4 percent, compared with 71.7 percent in the prior year.

Sharp rise in earnings due to good business development in all segments

In the first half-year 2018, EBIT improved at a markedly faster rate than revenue. At 42.8 million euros, the operating result was 46.1 percent up on the prior year (prior year: 29.3 million euros). In addition to revenue growth, this is primarily attributable to a more favorable product mix and a relatively low increase in functional costs. All of the Group’s segments contributed to this good performance. The EBIT margin of 11.1 percent was significantly higher than in the prior year (prior year: 8.4 percent). EBITDA grew by 31.4 percent to 56.3 million euros (prior year: 42.8 million euros).

Solid order book and strong financial power

Order intake grew by 7.2 percent to 197.9 million euros in the second quarter (prior year: 184.7 million euros). In the first six months of the fiscal year, the order intake came to 397.2 million euros, 2.0 percent lower than in the prior year (prior year: 405.3 million euros), but exceeded revenue in the reporting period. The book-to-bill ratio, that of order intake to revenue, came to 1.03 in the first half-year, compared with 1.16 in the prior year. As of the balance sheet date, the order backlog was worth 454.7 million euros, practically unchanged from year-end 2017 (31/12/2017: 453.5 million euros).

In the first half-year, the free cash flow increased to 28.8 million euros (prior year: 22.1 million euros). The equity ratio, at 59.4 percent, remained at the same good level as at year-end 2017 (31/12/2017: 59.6 percent). In addition, despite a higher dividend payment, the Group remained net debt free at the end of the reporting period, at minus 65.3 million euros (31/12/2017: minus 69.0 million euros).

Revenue growth and improved earnings in all group segments

The Optics & Life Science segment posted a strong increase in revenue of 11.7 percent to 139.5 million euros (prior year: 124.9 million euros) in the first six months of 2018. As in the prior quarters, this development was driven by a continuation of healthy business with solutions for the semiconductor equipment industry and a very positive development in the Healthcare & Industry area. EBIT improved significantly due to a positive product mix and good capacity utilization, by 28.3 percent to 28.7 million euros (prior year: 22.4 million euros). Over the first half-year, the segment thus increased its EBIT margin to 20.6 percent compared to the prior year (prior year: 17.9 percent). The order intake grew 5.7 percent to a value of 157.5 million euros (prior year: 149.1 million euros). Set against revenue, this resulted in a book-to-bill ratio of 1.13 (prior year: 1.19).

Revenue in the Mobility segment saw a year-on-year increase of 17.6 percent in the first six months of 2018, to 138.5 million euros (prior year: 117.8 million euros). Both areas, systems and machines for the automotive industry and traffic safety technology, showed successful growth, in particular due to deliveries of toll monitoring systems. On the basis of a good revenue development, the segment, as expected, again significantly improved the quality of earnings in the first six months, with EBIT of 11.8 million euros (prior year: 2.4 million euros). The EBIT margin rose to 8.6 percent (prior year: 2.0 percent). The order intake in the Mobility segment was slightly down on the prior year, at 140.2 million euros, due to weaker growth in the Traffic Solutions area (prior year: 144.4 million euros), while the business with the automotive industry was further expanded. In the first six months of 2018, the book-to-bill ratio reached a figure of 1.01 (prior year: 1.23).

In the first half-year, the Defense & Civil Systems segment generated revenue of 108.2 million euros (prior year: 105.4 million euros), an increase of 2.7 percent. EBIT improved by 5.7 percent, from 9.0 million euros in the prior year, to 9.5 million euros, in part due to a more profitable product mix. Over the reporting period, the EBIT margin consequently increased to 8.8 percent (prior year: 8.5 percent). At 100.4 million euros, the order intake was 10.2 percent down on the prior year (prior year: 111.8 million euros). In the first quarter 2017 Jenoptik had received several major orders for energy and sensor systems. As expected, however, the order intake rose by 34.1 percent to 56.3 million euros in the second quarter 2018 compared with the same quarter in the prior year (Q2/2017: 42.0 million euro). The book-to-bill ratio in the first six months of 2018 accordingly fell to 0.93, compared with 1.06 in the prior year.

Following an increase in revenue guidance, the Executive Board now also sets higher profit targets for 2018

With closing in July, Jenoptik successfully completed its acquisition of Prodomax Automation Ltd. in Canada. The acquired company, which specializes in process and automation technology, will already contribute to group growth this year. Due to the acquisition and continuing good business performance, the Executive Board increased its revenue forecast in July, from an original 790 to 810 million euros to a new figure of between 805 and 820 million euros and confirms this now. Better than originally anticipated profitability in its ongoing businesses, driven mainly by favorable mix effects, enables management to also raise profit targets for the year. The EBITDA margin is expected to be around 15 percent (previously between 14.5 and 15.0 percent), the EBIT margin to be around 11 percent (previously between 10.5 and 11.0 percent). The new profit targets already include the effects from purchase price allocation in connection with the acquisition of Prodomax of around 5 million euros in EBITDA and 1.5 million euros in EBIT, according to preliminary calculations.

The Interim Report is available in the “Investors/Reports and Presentations” section of the website. The “Jenoptik app” can be used to view the Quarterly Report on mobile devices running iOS or Android. Images for download can be found in the Jenoptik image database in the “Current Events/Financial Reports” gallery.

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Caledonia declares quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents per share

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company” – http://www.commodity-tv.net/c/search_adv/?v=298338) today announces that its board of directors has declared a dividend of six and seven eighths United States cents (US$0.06875) on each of the Company’s common shares.

The relevant dates relating to the dividend are as follows:

  • Ex-dividend date: July 12, 2018
  • Record date: July 13, 2018
  • Dividend cheque mailing date: July 27, 2018

Shareholders and depositary interest holders in Canada and the UK will be paid in Canadian Dollars and Sterling respectively.  The Canadian Dollar and Sterling dividend payments will be calculated using the relevant Bank of Canada exchange rates on the record date.  Note that the dividend is no longer subject to Canadian withholding tax and it is no longer eligible for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Caledonia’s Dividend Policy

Caledonia’s strategy to maximise shareholder value includes a quarterly dividend policy which the board of directors adopted in 2014. It is expected that the current dividend of twenty-seven and a half United States cents per annum, paid in equal quarterly instalments, will be maintained. 

About Caledonia Mining

Caledonia’s primary asset is a 49% interest in an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe (“Blanket Mine”).  Caledonia’s shares are listed on NYSE American (symbol: CMCL) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: CAL) and depositary interests representing the shares are traded on London’s AIM (symbol: CMCL). 

As at March 31, 2018, Caledonia had cash of approximately US$13.4m.  Blanket Mine plans to increase production from 56,136 ounces of gold in 2017 to approximately 80,000 ounces by 2021; Blanket Mine’s target production for 2018 is 55,000 to 59,000 ounces. Caledonia expects to publish its results for the quarter to June 30, 2018 on or about August 13, 2018.

For further information please contact:

Caledonia  Mining Corporation Plc
Mark Learmonth                                               Tel: +44 1534 679 802
Maurice Mason                                                 Tel: +44 759 078 1139

WH Ireland
Adrian Hadden/Ed Allsopp                             Tel: +44 20 7220 1751

Blytheweigh
Tim Blythe/Camilla Horsfall/Megan Ray      Tel: +44 207 138 3204

In Europe:
Swiss Resource Capital AG
Jochen Staiger
info@resource-capital.ch
www.resource-capital.ch

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development,.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices and delays in the development of projects.

Security holders, potential security holders and other prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs and risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase.  Security holders, potential security holders and other prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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Annual General Meeting of SMA Solar Technology AG Discharges Managing Board and Supervisory Board and Resolves Dividend

The shareholders of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) granted full discharge to the Managing Board and Supervisory Board for the 2017 fiscal year with a clear majority of over 99% and over 95% at today’s Annual General Meeting in Kassel. The remaining items on the agenda were also passed with a large majority. More than 250 shareholders attended the 2018 Annual General Meeting of SMA Solar Technology AG, and 89% of those with voting rights were present. The Annual General Meeting followed the suggestion of the Managing Board and Supervisory Board and approved the dividend payout of €0.35 per qualifying bearer share for the 2017 fiscal year.

“SMA again demonstrated its high level of flexibility in the last fiscal year,” said SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon. “In 2017, despite the regional shift in demand, SMA was able to generate annual net income at the level of the previous year. For SMA’s future success, we will further strengthen our core business with PV inverters while ramping up our activities in the field of energy management. Our shareholders supported this strategy at today’s Annual General Meeting.” In the 2017 fiscal year, SMA generated sales of €891.0 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to €97.3 million. Net income amounted to €30.1 million. With a payout totaling €12.1 million, the payout ratio in relation to net income amounts to 40.2%. The depository banks will begin dividend payments on May 25, 2018.

In light of the development in the first quarter of 2018 and the continued high order backlog, the SMA Managing Board confirms its sales and earnings guidance for the 2018 fiscal year, which forecasts sales of between €900 million and €1,000 million and EBITDA of between €90 million and €110 million. For the first time, EBITDA includes expenses of more than €10 million for setting up the digital business. The Managing Board estimates that depreciation and amortization will amount to approximately €50 million. The future payout rate will be between 30% and 60%.

The presentation and the speech given by the Managing Board at the Annual General Meeting, along with further information, can be found on the internet at www.sma.de/en/investor-relations/annual–general-meeting.

A press picture can be downloaded here .

Disclaimer:

This press release serves only as information and does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for, acquire, hold or sell any securities of SMA Solar Technology AG (the “Company”) or any present or future subsidiary of the Company (together with the Company, the “SMA Group”) nor should it form the basis of, or be relied upon in connection with, any contract to purchase or subscribe for any securities in the Company or any member of the SMA Group or commitment whatsoever. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

This press release can contain future-oriented statements. Future-oriented statements are statements which do not describe facts of the past. They also include statements about our assumptions and expectations. These statements are based on plans, estimations and forecasts which the Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA or company) has available at this time. Future-oriented statements are therefore only valid on the day on which they are made. Future-oriented statements by nature contain risks and elements of uncertainty. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors can lead to considerable differences between the actual results, the financial position, the development or the performance of the corporation and the estimates given here. These factors include those which SMA has discussed in published reports. These reports are available on the SMA website at www.SMA.de. The company accepts no obligation whatsoever to update these future-oriented statements or to adjust them to future events or developments.

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Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc Results for the Quarter ended 31 March 2018

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYYGO-DNYsM&list=PLBpDlKjdv3yq3mPe4_-LvOr9_6ij_XRiM&index=6 ) announces its operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2018 (“Q1” or the “Quarter”).

Gold production in the Quarter was 12,924 ounces, marginally higher than the first quarter of 2017 and in-line with expectations.  Adjusted earnings per share of 40.1 cents were 51% higher than the corresponding figure in 2017, largely due to a higher realised gold price, and the increased export credit incentive. Operating cash flows for the Quarter were $7 million and the Company’s balance sheet remains strong with net cash of $13.4 million as at 31 March 2018.

Commenting on the results, Steve Curtis, Caledonia’s Chief Executive Officer said:

“The first quarter of 2018 was one of very strong cash generation at Blanket.  The business generated operating cash flows after tax of $7 million which supported capital investment in the mine of $5.2 million and an increase in our cash balance at the end of the quarter to $13.4 million. As we continue to grow production to our target of 80,000 ounces by 2021, maintain cost control and benefit from economies of scale we look forward to further increasing cash flows and earnings.

“Gold production was marginally higher in the Quarter compared to the first quarter of 2017 and was in-line with our expectations.  We expect that production will deliver the usual increase in the second half of the year as we see the benefit of the increased level of mine development in the first half of the year, which will improve our access to higher grade areas.

“Profits in the Quarter benefitted from an 8% increase in the average realised gold price and a 3% reduction in all-in sustaining costs to $832 per ounce which contributed to a 10% increase in gross profit and a 35% increase in net attributable profit. On mine costs were marginally higher at $687 per ounce due to various operational factors which we expect to be addressed as the Central Shaft project is commissioned in 2020. Profit and cash flow were also boosted by the Government of Zimbabwe increasing the Export Credit Incentive (“ECI”) from 2.5% to 10% of revenue with effect from 1 February 2018.

“Regrettably our safety performance during the quarter was marred by a fatal accident at the mine on the 23 February 2018. My fellow directors and I express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. The Company has embarked upon renewed efforts in the business to improve our safety performance.

“The Central Shaft remains a key enabler of long term value of the business and I am pleased to report that the project is progressing on schedule and within budget and importantly, remains fully funded by operating cash flow. For our technical team to deliver production and a transformational project for the business is a significant achievement. Following the decision to extend the shaft sinking project in November of 2017 the shaft has now reached 30 Level (990 metres) and work has commenced on establishing the station on this level.

“The operating environment and the investment climate in Zimbabwe continue to improve with government showing very pleasing levels of support of the mining industry, including the increase in the ECI for gold producers.  The Zimbabwe gold sector offers exciting opportunities but is in need of significant capital investment. In March, the government enacted legislation which completely removed the requirement for gold producers to implement indigenisation which has created the opportunity for Caledonia to potentially increase its stake in the Blanket Mine subject to agreement with our local partners. We have been encouraged by the level of support that the new leadership has shown for the mining sector and the Zimbabwean economy in general and look forward to the opportunities that the improving macroeconomic environment in Zimbabwe is likely to present.

“We maintain our guidance of 55,000 to 59,000 ounces for the full year and earnings guidance of between 165 cents and 190 cents per share.”

Strategy and Outlook

Caledonia remains on track to achieve the production target of 80,000 ounces by 2021 at its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Blanket Mine. The Company’s strategic focus continues to be the implementation of the Investment Plan at Blanket, which was announced in November 2014 and is expected to extend the life of mine by providing access to deeper levels for production and further exploration.  Implementation of the Investment Plan remains on target in terms of timing and cost.  Caledonia’s board and management believe the successful implementation of the Investment Plan is in the best interests of all stakeholders because it is expected to result in increased production, reduced operating costs and greater flexibility to undertake further exploration and development, thereby safeguarding and enhancing Blanket’s long-term future.  Caledonia’s cash position is expected to improve as a result of the implementation of the Investment Plan; Caledonia will continue to assess new opportunities to invest surplus cash.

Dividend Policy

On 4 July 2017, following the consolidation on 26 June 2017 of the Company’s shares, the Company announced an increased quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents per share which was paid on 28 July 2017 and further quarterly dividends of the same amount were paid on 27 October 2017, 26 January 2018 and 27 April 2018. The dividend of 6.875 cents per share effectively maintains the dividend at the previous level of 1.375 cents per share, after adjusting for the effect of the one-for-five share consolidation. The quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents is Caledonia’s current dividend policy which it is envisaged will be maintained.

Following the implementation of indigenisation in September 2012, Caledonia owns 49 per cent of the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe. Caledonia continues to consolidate Blanket and the operational and the financial information set out below is on a 100 per cent basis unless otherwise indicated.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, and our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors.

Potential shareholders and prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs, risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase and currency fluctuations.  Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc – Caledonia declares quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents per share (NYSE AMERICAN: CMCL, AIM: CMCL; TSX: CAL)

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aQP-cMNrOI&t=10s) today announces that its board of directors has declared a dividend of six and seven eighths United States cents (US$0.06875) on each of the Company’s common shares.

The relevant dates relating to the dividend are as follows:

  • Ex-dividend date: April 12, 2018
  • Record date: April 13, 2018
  • Dividend cheque mailing date: April 27, 2018

Shareholders and depositary interest holders in Canada and the UK will be paid in Canadian Dollars and Sterling respectively.  The Canadian Dollar and Sterling dividend payments will be calculated using the relevant Bank of Canada exchange rates on the record date. 

Steve Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Caledonia maintains its 6.875 cents per share quarterly dividend following a year of strong cash generation in 2017 during which Blanket Mine was able to support both the significant capital investment in the Central Shaft project and dividend payments to its shareholders.

“The business continues its strategic investment in the Central Shaft project, having announced towards the end of last year a significant further increase in Blanket Mine’s resource base and consequently a planned deepening of the Central Shaft in order to access these resources. The Central Shaft has approximately two years of significant capital investment in 2018 and 2019 remaining after which it is expected to be in production in 2020 when the business is anticipated to see a period of substantially increased free cash flow as capital investment declines.

Caledonia is targeting production of between 55,000 and 59,000 ounces of gold in 2018 as it continues to make progress towards its goal of 80,000 ounces per year by 2021 upon completion of the Central Shaft.”

Caledonia’s Dividend Policy

Caledonia’s strategy to maximise shareholder value includes a quarterly dividend policy which the board of directors adopted in 2014.

It is expected that the current dividend of twenty-seven and a half United States cents per annum, paid in equal quarterly instalments, will be maintained. 

Effect of the re-domicile from Canada to Jersey, Channel Islands

Following the re-domicile of the Company from Canada to Jersey with effect from March 19, 2016, the dividend is no longer subject to Canadian withholding tax and it is no longer eligible for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

About Caledonia Mining

Caledonia’s primary asset is a 49% interest in an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe (“Blanket Mine”).  Caledonia’s shares are listed on NYSE American (symbol: CMCL) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: CAL) and depositary interests representing the shares are traded on London’s AIM (symbol: CMCL). 

As at December 31, 2017, Caledonia had cash of approximately US$12.8m.  Blanket Mine plans to increase production from 56,136 ounces of gold in 2017 to approximately 80,000 ounces by 2021; Blanket Mine’s target production for 2018 is 55,000 to 59,000 ounces. Caledonia expects to publish its results for the quarter to March 31, 2018 on or about May 14, 2018.

For further information please contact:

Caledonia  Mining Corporation Plc
Mark Learmonth                                               Tel: +44 1534 679 802
Maurice Mason                                                 Tel: +44 759 078 1139

WH Ireland
Adrian Hadden/Ed Allsopp                             Tel: +44 20 7220 1751

Blytheweigh
Tim Blythe/Camilla Horsfall/Megan Ray      Tel: +44 207 138 3204

Swiss Resource Capital AG                           
Jochen Staiger                                                 
info@resource-capital.ch
www.resource-capital.ch

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development,.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices and delays in the development of projects.

Shareholders, potential shareholders and other prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs and risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase.  Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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USU Software AG announces figures for 2017, dividend proposal and guidance for 2018

  • Strong license business in fourth quarter of 2017
  • Sales growth of 17% for year as a whole
  • Earnings shaped by trend towards SaaS solutions and investments outside Germany
  • Dividend proposal of EUR 0.40 per share
  • Orders on hand up more than 11% as of December 31, 2017
  • Further growth forecast for 2018

USU Software AG (hereinafter “USU”, ISIN DE000A0BVU28) announced its figures for 2017 today. In the final quarter, USU increased its IFRS consolidated sales by 23% to EUR 25.5 million (Q4/2016: EUR 20.7 million). This positive development was due in particular to further growth in software license business. In Q4/2017, USU recorded a year-on-year increase in license sales of 49% to EUR 6.4 million (Q4/2016: EUR 4.3 million). Thanks to increased SaaS income, maintenance business also rose by 17% to EUR 6 million (Q4/2016: EUR 5.1 million). Consulting business grew by 8% to EUR 11.8 million in the same period (Q4/2016: EUR 10.9 million). Due to increased investments outside Germany for the further expansion of international business, adjusted EBIT declined by 12% year-on-year to EUR 3.8 million (Q4/2016: EUR 4.3 million). At the same time, USU increased its consolidated net profit by 19% compared with the same period of the previous year to EUR 3.4 million (Q4/2016: EUR 2.9 million).

On a full-year basis, sales rose by 17% to EUR 84.4 million (2016: EUR 72.1 million). This positive development was primarily driven by domestic business, while sales of software licenses outside Germany saw more muted development during the year as a result of the trend towards SaaS business. Increased investments outside Germany meant that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 37% year-on-year to EUR 6.8 million (2016: EUR 10.8 million), while EBIT for the year as a whole totaled EUR 3.2 million (2016: EUR 8.3 million). EBIT adjusted for acquisition effects (adjusted EBIT) fell by around one-third as against the previous year to EUR 6.1 million (2016: EUR 9.6 million). Consolidated net profit for 2017 halved to EUR 3.4 million (2016: EUR 6.8 million). Accordingly, earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.32 (2016: EUR 0.64).

In line with the Company’s strategy of distributing a dividend that is never lower than the previous year and that corresponds to around half of the profit generated, the Management Board has proposed the payment of a dividend of EUR 0.40 per share as in the previous year.

In the 2018 fiscal year, the Management Board expects the Company to continue on the positive growth path recorded in recent years in terms of adjusted EBIT and sales, although this growth will be curbed slightly by the trend towards SaaS business. The first positive effects from investments outside Germany will be seen in the current fiscal year, although the full effect will only be felt with some delay. At the same time, business in Germany is expected to continue to develop successfully.

All in all, the Management Board expects to significantly outperform the market in terms of growth once again in the 2018 fiscal year. One key indicator supporting this forecast is Group-wide orders on hand, which increased by over 11% year-on-year to more than EUR 44 million as of December 31, 2017 (2016: EUR 39.5 million). Accordingly, the forecast for 2018 involves an increase in consolidated sales to between EUR 93 million and EUR 98 million, accompanied by an above-average rise in adjusted EBIT to EUR 7.5-10 million. The Management Board is also confirming its medium-term forecast to 2021, with consolidated sales of EUR 140 million and adjusted EBIT of EUR 20 million. Strategic planning is focused on the three established growth pillars of the USU Group: increased internationalization, the development and launch of new product innovations, and inorganic growth through acquisitions.

This press release can be downloaded at https://www.usu.de/en/

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