Anglo American slashes dividend after earnings dive
By Clara Denina and Helen Reid
LONDON (Reuters) -Global miner Anglo American slashed payouts to shareholders after first-half earnings fell 28% due to lower production and higher costs.
Anglo joins rival miners including Rio Tinto and Freeport-McMoRan in reporting a profit slump, partly blaming a tight labour market, supply chain snags and inflation.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell to $8.7 billion for the six months to June, down from $12.1 billion a year before but beating an average forecast of $8.56 billion from 10 analysts compiled by research firm Vuma.
This was still the company’s second-highest first-half profit ever, after a record 2021, chief executive Ducan Wanblad said, forecasting higher production in the second half helping control unit costs.
Shares in the miner were up 3.5% in London – because the results beat estimates, analysts said.
Anglo declared an interim dividend of $1.24 per share, down 27% from last year’s $1.71 interim payout. For all of 2021, Anglo paid out a record $6.2 billion, including a $1 billion share buyback.
Capital expenditure increased 13% from a year earlier, to $2.6 billion, which Anglo attributed to spending normalising after deferrals due to the pandemic.
Net debt was $4.85 billion on June 30, compared with $1.63 billion a year earlier.
Higher inflation has hurt Anglo and its rivals and it is likely to push up costs in the next few months.
“We are not immune from it. We are seeing inflation impacts across the various regions that we operate and it’s come through a little more strongly than we originally anticipated at the start of the year,” finance director Stephen Pearce told a media briefing after the results.
“Anglo had a tough H1 but operations are recovering and the shares have underperformed,” RBC Capital Markets’ Tyler Broda said.
“Expectations were very low heading into today’s result and although we would imagine consensus earnings will likely move lower following the miss, no change to guidance should be taken positively.”
The London-listed miner reported a 17% fall in first-half copper output on lower grades and short water supply in Chile. Production of nickel, iron ore, platinum group metals and coal was also down.
With Russian diamonds off-limits due to sanctions against top global producer Alrosa, demand for gems from non-conflict zones has risen, benefitting Anglo diamond unit De Beers.
A 58% rise in average diamond prices helped De Beers to a profit of $944 million, up 55%.
(Reporting by Clara Denina and Helen Reid; editing by Carmel Crimmins and Bradley Perrett)