AngloGold profit picks up on higher bullion, weaker currencies

Johannesburg - AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] said it returned to profit in the first half as the world’s third-biggest producer of the metal benefited from higher bullion prices and weaker currencies in the countries it operates in.

Headline earnings were in a range of $87m to $99m in the six months ended June 30 from a loss of $128m a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Friday.

Gold, a haven in times of economic turmoil, has soared 25% this year as the US dialled back expectations for increasing interest rates, growth slowed in China and the UK’s vote to leave the European Union injected fresh uncertainty into global markets.

That’s helped AngloGold’s revenue, as did first-half weakness in the currencies of South Africa, Brazil, Australia and Argentina, countries where the company has mines.

Earnings were also boosted by a "continued focus on cost control across the portfolio," and a $33m saving on interest payments after the company bought back bonds that paid investors 8.5%.

The shares, which have almost tripled this year, climbed 2.27% to R301.78 at 11:40 in Johannesburg.

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