Anglo American swings back to profit

Johannesburg - Global mining giant Anglo American [JSE:AGL] has recorded a full-year profit attributable to equity shareholders of $1.6bn for the period to end-December 2016, marking a bounce-back from its $5.6bn loss reported in the prior year.

Underlying earnings per share also jumped from 64 US cents in 2015 to $1.72 for the year to end-December 31 2016 while the company’s underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) climbed 25% to just over $6bn from $4.8bn in 2015.

READ: It's about survival at Anglo American

Meanwhile, group revenue for the period recorded growth of just 1% from 2015 to reach $23.1bn.

The company further reduced its net debt by 34% to $8.5bn and plans to resume dividend payments for the end of 2017.

"Overall, it's clear that as a result of our decisive actions in 2016, and the results delivered by our people across the company, Anglo American is now more robust, with a stronger balance sheet and more competitive cost structure around a world class diversified asset base,” Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said in a statement.

“We have also taken further strides in transforming the portfolio but benefited from sticking to our overriding commitment that long-term shareholder value must be safeguarded. Looking ahead, we must continue to build on this solid progress.

“Operating discipline is of paramount importance as we strive to complete the journey to a balance sheet that can support competitive shareholder returns and maximise the potential of our differentiated assets and future opportunities,” he said.

Looking forward, Cutifani said the focus for 2017 would be, among others, to deliver an incremental $1bn of net cost and volume improvements, 75% of which has already been identified.

READ: Anglo confronts messy divorce in SA birthplace

"In 2017, capital expenditure will be maintained at $2.5bn, with stay-in-business capital increased to $1.2bn,” he said.

The company's share price on the JSE was 1.4% up to R220.25 just after 11:30.

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