Fin24

Anglo American profit jumps

2012-02-17 09:54

London - Global miner Anglo American [JSE:AGL] posted a 14% rise in full-year operating profit, broadly in line with market expectations, as bumper iron ore profits and record income from coal helped offset a drop in copper revenues.

The miner said on Friday 2011 operating profit totalled $11.1bn, just shy of a market forecast of $11.2bn, according to the company’s own consensus of analyst estimates.

Underlying earnings per share jumped 23% to $5.06, above expectations of $4.78.

Hopes of special dividend were disappointed, but Anglo raised its total dividend 14% to 74 cents per share.

Anglo units Kumba Iron Ore [JSE:KIO], Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] and De Beers have already reported earnings for the year, with Kumba and De Beers boosted by higher prices. Platinum miner Amplats warned on profits last month, after stoppages and costs linked to a black empowerment deal.

Anglo said operating profit from key iron ore operations, dominated by Kumba, climbed 23% to $4.5bn, supported by strong prices.

The market’s view of Anglo’s iron ore growth prospects has been dampened by cost overruns at Minas-Rio, its flagship greenfield Brazilian iron ore project, but CEO Cynthia Carroll said the miner had made “good progress” within a high inflation environment.

“To mitigate these challenges, we are implementing various measures including acceleration activities within the previously announced 15% capital expenditure increase, to target first ore on ship in the second half of 2013,” she said.

Operating profit from its copper unit dipped 13% to $2.46bn, as the miner was hit by an expected double whammy of lower sales volumes and higher costs.