Amplats CEO Chris Griffith to step down; group declares final dividend of R52.60/share

After more than seven years at the helm, Anglo American Platinum's [JSE:AMS] CEO Chris Griffith is stepping down.

In a notice to shareholders on Monday, the mining company said Griffith, who has spent 30 years at the company, will step down on April 16 to pursue "other career opportunities".

His successor is expected to be an internal candidate from within the Anglo American Group.

Commenting on Griffith's departure, the chairperson of Amplats, Norman Mbazima, said he made an exceptional contribution to improving safety and aiding the operational and financial turnaround of the business.  

"The focus on innovation and developing diverse markets for our range of metals, see Anglo American Platinum well positioned to continue growing from its current position of strength. Chris has notched up many significant achievements during his 30-year career with Anglo American and we wish him the very best for the future," Mbazima said.

Griffith said that the time had come for the "next generation of leadership" to take the business forward.

"I have enjoyed the significant challenge of leading one of the world’s great precious metals businesses over the last seven years. This has been the pinnacle of my long and fulfilling career with Anglo American – ending it back at Anglo American Platinum, which was where my career started 30 years ago," he said. 

The platinum mining company on Monday also released its annual results for the 2019 financial year.  The group's EBITA - or earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization - doubled to R30bn. During the period platinum group metals production increased by 1%, driven by record production at its Mogalakwena and Unki mines.

Headline earnings per share more than doubled from R28.93 reported in 2018 to R70.87. The group's net cash position is at R17.3bn, up from R14.4bn reported in 2018.

As a result, a final dividend of R41.60 per share was declared – made up of a R16.60 base dividend and a R25 special dividend, for the six months ended December 31. The total dividend for the year is at R52.60, up from R11.25 declared in 2018.

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