MOSCOW, April 7 Russia's Norilsk Nickel , the world's top nickel and palladium producer, can stick to its 2013 dividend target despite reporting a 64-percent drop in net profit for last year, its deputy chief executive said on Monday.
Norilsk, part owned by Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin and aluminium giant Rusal, said earlier its net profit dropped to $765 million last year, although before the non-cash write-offs it would have been down just 15 percent to $2.6 billion.
"The 2013 full-year dividend will depend on shareholders' decision, but the company is able to continue to stick to the dividend target," Sergey Malyshev, Norilsk deputy chief executive, told reporters during a conference call.
"There is no reason to review (the dividend targets) as of now, everything (is) in line with the plan," he added.
The firm has a dividend policy, approved by its shareholders last year, which states that its dividend target for 2013-14 should be not less than $2 billion per year. The firm had previously returned to shareholders $1.1 billion in dividends for the first nine months of 2013.
Norilsk's dividend payments support all shareholders, especially loss-making and indebted aluminium Rusal, which is in talks with lenders to amend the terms of syndicated facilities covering $3.7 billion of debt. (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Andrey Kuzmin; Editing by Mark Potter)