Regular dividends and proactive debt management
EVRAZ was consistent in its deleveraging strategy for the last three years and reached its target figures in 2017. Going forward the Group plans to keep a moderate net debt level and resume regular dividend payments depending on the financial results.
During 2017, EVRAZ focused on reducing its debt service costs. The Group repriced and refinanced several credit facilities and issued new Eurobonds due in 2023 to fund a tender offer for notes with shorter maturities. These measures reduced the weighted average cost of the outstanding borrowings and extended the duration of the debt portfolio.
Cash spent on interest, net of interest income and interest gains from swaps, continued to decrease in the reporting period, driven by the overall reduction in debt and lower interest rates. In addition, to reduce interest expense, the Group prepaid US$953 million in Eurobonds and US$350 million in high-yield bonds, paying a premium of US$65 million over the par value of bonds in these transactions.