Saturday, 16 February 2013 14:43
Miner Anglo American has posted an annual net loss of $US1.49 billion ($1.45 billion) after taking a hit on the value of its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil and platinum assets.
The loss after taxation compared with a net profit of $US6.17 billion in 2011, Anglo said in a results statement on Friday.
That was Anglo American's first net loss in more than a decade as the London-listed miner was also hurt by a sharp fall in global commodity prices.
The news comes one day after its Anglo-Australian rival Rio Tinto posted a 2012 net loss of $US2.99 billion due to writedowns on its Mozambique coal and aluminium businesses.
That marked Rio's first net loss since becoming a dual-listed company in 1995 and was also due to a dip in commodity markets.
Anglo added on Friday that its operational profit, stripping out exceptional items such as the impairment charge, dived 44 per cent to $US6.16 billion. That was broadly in line with analysts' expectations. Group sales meanwhile fell 5.9 per cent to $28.8 billion.
The company, however, hiked its full-year shareholder dividend by 15 per cent to $US0.53 per share, citing confidence in the underlying business.
"As a result of markedly weaker commodity prices, ongoing cost pressures and an operating loss in our platinum business, Anglo American reported an underlying operating profit of $US6.2 billion, a 44-per cent decrease," outgoing Anglo CEO Cynthia Carroll said.
Anglo had already revealed late last month it would take a $4 billion hit on the value of its Minas-Rio iron-ore mining project in Brazil owing to delays that have sent costs soaring.
"We recorded impairments totalling $4.6 billion (post-tax) in relation to Minas-Rio and a number of platinum projects that are uneconomical, which is disappointing," Ms Carroll said.
"In platinum, we completed our review in January 2013 and have put forward proposals to create a sustainable, competitive and profitable platinum business.
"We, of course, regret the potential impact on jobs and communities and have designed an extensive social plan to more than offset any such impact."
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