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Anglo American returns to profit big time - $2.6 billion

Anglo AmericanAnglo American reported a return to pre-tax profits of $2.6 billion from a loss of $5.4bn a year earlier, adding that it would resume dividend payments by the end of 2017 and suspend its asset sales programme.

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Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumped 25% to $6.1bn. Net debt fell 34% to $8.5 billion, significantly below Anglo's $10bn target.

Anglo had to suspend dividends in late 2015 as commodities prices fell into a hole, prompting dramatic a plant to offload most of its assets, but the unexpected recovery in demand for raw materials prompted the pledge to reward shareholders.

Chief executive Mark Cutifani said the company continued to benefit from its iron ore, coal and nickel operations as well as raising $1.8bn from the sale of assets to boost the balance sheet.

"While we saw strong interest in a number of the major assets for which we held sale processes during 2016 to further strengthen our financial position, we adhered to our strict value thresholds and chose not to transact," he said.

"We will continue to upgrade our portfolio as a matter of course, although asset disposals for the purposes of deleveraging are no longer required."

Cutifani said the company would now retain its Moranbah and Grosvenor coal mines as well as its nickel assets.


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