The following statement was made by Mike Welton, Chairman of Premier Oil plc, at today's Annual General Meeting of the Company:
"I am pleased to report that Premier is in its strongest ever position in its history, both financially and operationally, and we are looking forward to increasing significantly the cash flow from our production and development activities over the next three years.
These activities should generate a material increase in the intrinsic value of Premier and, logically, the returns made for our shareholders through the appreciation of the value of their shares in the Company. The Board, however, has recently considered, as it has done in the past, other ways than capital growth in which the shareholders can be rewarded for their investment.
As we announced in our Interim Management Statement released yesterday, production is expected to grow from an annual rate of 60-65 kboepd for this year to be at a 75 kboepd run rate as we exit 2012, and we can clearly see our path to 100 kboepd in the medium term. This level of production, particularly with relatively high oil prices, means that we can see growing and predictable cash flows. That in turn allows us to consider some element of return to shareholders through a regular, annual dividend payment.
We continue to generate an increasing number of attractive exploration and development projects and the payment of a dividend to shareholders will not jeopardise our plans to grow the value of the Company through further substantial investment in such projects.
Having concluded our deliberations, I am pleased to report that we intend, subject of course to the oil price environment and to general market conditions, to initiate an appropriate dividend starting with our final results for the 2012 financial year. A final determination will take place at our March 2013 Board meeting with a potential payment date thereafter".
Premier Oil plc Tel: 020 7730 1111
Pelham Bell Pottinger
Gavin Davis Tel: 020 7861 3232
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