Anglo ‘not anywhere near where we need to be’ – Cutifani – by Leandi Kolver (MiningWeekly.com – February 14, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/page/americas-home

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – While Anglo American’s financial results were encouraging, they were “not yet satisfactory”, said CEO Mark Cutifani at the diversified major’s results presentation on Friday.

“The business improvement is encouraging, but we are not anywhere near where we need to be as a group,” he stated. Anglo reported a 6% increase in underlying profit to $6.6-billion for the 2013 financial year, with the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation having increased by 7% to $9.5-billion.

After deducting tax and profits attributable to noncontrolling interests, which represented a greater proportion of profit than in 2012, the company’s underlying earnings decreased by 7% to $2.7-billion. Underlying earnings a share amounted to $2.09.

The company also declared impairments of $1.9-billion, principally in relation to its Barro Alto operation, in Brazil, its platinum portfolio review, the Michiquillay operation, in Peru, and the Foxleigh mine, in Australia. Meanwhile, the group’s net debt increased by $2.14-billion to $10.65-billion, while net debt to total capital at December 31, 2013, was 22.2%, compared with 16.3% at December 31, 2012.

Fund manager Liberum Capital said the group’s debt would probably grow again during the 2014 financial year.

Further, Anglo’s dividend was kept flat at 85c a share.

“The flat dividend was to be expected given that Anglo still has to face its peak capital expenditure year of $7-billion to $7.5-billion,” Liberum noted.

OPERATIONS UPDATE

Cutifani said Anglo had started to make solid progress at Los Bronces and Collahuasi, the group’s two biggest copper interests in Chile, where improvements in waste stripping volumes and process tonnages supported a significant improvement in copper production.

“At the currently constrained Sishen iron-ore mine, in South Africa, a redesign of the pit and changes to core operating processes should result in consistently higher production from 2015 onwards,” he said, adding that Sishen’s challenges had been partially offset by the solid performance of the Kolomela mine, in the Northern Cape, that was operating well above nameplate capacity.

He further said diamond business De Beers had a good year and was able to increase output against a background of rising demand.

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