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Anglo American’s 2019 profit up 9% on higher iron ore, precious metals prices

Global miner Anglo American said on Thursday its full-year profits climbed 9% as higher prices for iron ore and precious metals outweighed weakness in diamonds and coal.

Anglo’s underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $10 billion in the year to December from $9.16 billion a year earlier.

The figure was in line with analysts’ average estimate of $9.97 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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“We have also benefited from product and market diversification, with strong precious metals and iron ore prices offsetting weakness in diamonds and coal,” said chief executive Mark Cutifani.

Anglo declared a final dividend of $0.47 a share, bringing total dividends for 2019 to $1.09 per share versus $1 paid out in 2018.

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This was in line with Anglo’s pledge to pay out 40% of underlying earnings.

Anglo’s Los Bronces copper mine has been hurt by water shortages in Chile due to drought, while diamond output was lower as its open-cast Venetia mine in South Africa transitioned to underground and a mine in Canada reached the end of its life.