Source - SMW
Capital Drilling swung back into profit in the six months to the end of June as fleet utilisation rates rose to 56% from 40% a year ago.

Revenues increased to $62.3m from $41.7m and EBITDA rose to $11.6m from $7.3m.

The group posted a net profit after tax of $2.6m against a loss of $0.8m last time.

Executive chairman Jamie Boyton said: "Capital Drilling's improved performance, which saw a return to profitability in the first half of 2017, was driven primarily by increasing rig utilisation, with H1 2017 utilisation of 56% representing a 40% increase on H1 2016. 

"The improved utilisation, coupled with a 9% increase in ARPOR, drove revenue growth of 49% over the first half of 2016.

"The improved revenue and profit for the Group reflects a solid performance across the core contracts, underpinned by the improved market conditions which started firming in late Q2 2016. 

"While the initial uplift in activity was associated with predominantly gold and speciality metals companies, this has broadened over H1 2017 with an improving outlook in industrial metals, particularly copper. 

"Capital markets activities continue to provide solid support to activity levels underpinning expenditure by junior miners and explorers, while we have seen the initial evidence of increased exploration and development expenditure from the established mining companies.

"We are particularly encouraged by the award of two new long term production / mine site contracts, specifically grade control drilling at the Tasiast Mine in Mauritania and underground drilling at the Syama Mine in Mali. 

"The addition of these two contracts, both at existing Capital Drilling sites, adds depth to the Group's portfolio of long term contracts and demonstrate Capital Drilling's success in expanding our range of drilling services to our customers.

"Recent legislative changes in Tanzania are concerning and clearly creating uncertainty. While we expect a reduction in delineation drilling at the Geita Gold Mine in H2 2017, there has been no impact to activity levels on the Group's production drilling contracts at the North Mara and Geita Gold mines. 

"The uncertainty is however having a material impact on exploration activity within the country and is likely to continue to impact investment decisions for the foreseeable future. 

"The lack of exploration activity is consistent with Capital Drilling's guidance.  

"As we have previously stated we will continue to monitor developments closely and keep our investors updated on any further developments.

"We remain in excellent financial health, generating solid free cash flow over the period. 

"This strong cash generation, coupled with enhanced discipline around capital expenditure, has seen the Group end the period with net cash of $3.3 million. 

"As consequence of this strong performance we have today declared an interim dividend of 0.5cps for the H1 2017 period, payable on October 6, 2017."