While Anglo American has put coal assets on the block, that does not mean those businesses will be sold cheaply.
Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani said the company would be sticking to “strict value thresholds” for any asset sales.
A gross underlying earnings before interest and tax of $1.4 billion for the first half of 2016 – a 27% decrease year-on-year due to lower commodity prices was partially offset by weaker producer country currencies and incremental cost reductions.
Group revenue was $10.6 billion for the first half – down 20% on the first half of 2015.
On the plus side net debt at June 30 fell to $11.7 billion. It had been $12.9 billion at December 31. Unit costs also fell 19% versus the first half of 2015 in US dollar terms.
The company expects to deliver $1.6 billion of cost and volume improvements in 2016. So far $300 million of cost and volume improvements have been delivered through the first six months of 2016.
Cuitfani believes his plan to rebuild Anglo American’s fortunes is working so far.
“The decisive actions we have taken to strengthen the balance sheet put us well on track to achieve our net debt target of less than $10 billion at the end of 2016 – both through stringent capital and cost discipline and improved operational performance – and assuming the completion of announced non-core asset divestments,” he said.
“We are transforming Anglo American to be a more resilient business with a core portfolio of world class assets in products where we are developing a sustainable competitive advantage – in De Beers, platinum group metals and copper.
“Sharply lower prices across our products were mitigated by our self-help actions on costs, volumes, working capital and capital expenditure, together contributing to the $1.1 billion of attributable free cash flow generated in the first half of 2016.
“Across the business our copper equivalent unit costs have reduced by 19% in US dollar terms, representing a 36% total reduction since 2012.
“We have agreed $1.5 billion of non-core disposals in H1 2016, including the niobium and phosphates businesses in Brazil. We will continue to divest non-core assets using strict value thresholds as we continue to reduce our debt levels and position the core business on a foundation to deliver sustainably positive cash flows.”