Global mining group Anglo American announced its Johannesburg-listed platinum division would reintroduce a cash dividend following its full-year earnings as it reduced net debt and increased return on capital.
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said it was to reinstate its annual dividend at R3.49 (30 US cents, 21p) a share - its first in six years after dropping the annual payment in 2012 amid a metals sell off that saw platinum prices drop from near $1,900 an ounce to nearly $800/oz.
Full-year financial highlights
- Return on capital exployed doubled to 18%
- Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 32% to R12bn
- Net debt reduced to R1.8bn from R7.3bn
- Total platinum group metals production up 1%
- Unit costs down 2% to R19,203 per platinum ounce
- R2.4bn free cash flow generated from operations
The company said forecasts suggested that the three major platinum group metals, platinum, palladium and rhodium, should collectively be in deficit again in 2018.
It added that rising vehicle production volumes and a healthy global economy should drive higher demand while primary mine production is likely to be relatively unchanged compared to the previous year.
Chris Griffith, chief executive (left), said: "Looking forward, our focus will continue to be on operational excellence, and strengthening the underlying cash generation of the business. We will maintain strict capital allocation discipline, while considering value-enhancing, quick payback projects, and continue to progress the project studies at our world-class assets.”
The Johannesburg-listed shares in Anglo American Platinum rose 3.4% to R35,600, while shares in parent company Anglo American listed on the London Stock Exchange rose 0.33% to £17.54.