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25 Feb 2021 | 07:43

Anglo American shines on commodity price boom

(Sharecast News) - A boom in commodity prices and easing of Covid curbs in the second half helped Anglo American report better-than-expected annual profits and lift its dividend. The De Beers diamond company owner said underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), the measure used by investors and analysts, fell 2% to $9.8bn in 12 months to December 31, against a consensus of $9.4bn.

Anglo lifted the final dividend by 53% to 72 cents per share, in line with its 40% payout policy.

Net debt fell to $5.6bn, down from $7.6bn at the half-year stage, helped by increased cash generation.

The company rebounded from a tough first half where it had been hit by falling diamond sales, Covid lockdowns in South Africa and operational problems in its coal and platinum divisions.

Major miners such as Rio Tinto and BHP have reported better results on the back of soaring Chinese demand for raw products such as iron ore and copper, which is a key component for electric vehicles.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said Anglo had benefited from the "resilience of our diversified business, following the operational disruptions of the first half and ... strong metals prices in the latter months".
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