WARSAW, May 17 (Reuters) - Europe's second largest copper producer, Poland's KGHM, wants to keep paying dividends even though it expects copper prices to rebound no sooner than in 2018, its chief executive Krzysztof Skora told Reuters.
"Working on optimising spending and our projects, we do not envisage changes to our dividend policy," Skora said, adding that KGHM management will present its dividend proposal for 2015 this week.
"We want to remain a dividend payer," he added, when asked about about prospects for KGHM's policy of handing out around 30 percent of profits.
KGHM, for years a source of dividend income for the state budget, had planned to almost double its copper output to more than 1 million tonnes a year by 2020, but changed its plans after worries about Chinese demand battered metals prices.
"Just like some analysts, we expect this and next year to be tough on the copper market, but in 2018 there will be a come-back on the growth path," Skora said. ($1 = 3.8499 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Adrian Krajewski)