Anglo American profits up

IN ITS second year since listing in London, Anglo American has reported record results. The balance sheet also reflects the contribution of last year’s purchase of the Shell Coal assets.

Staff Reporter

Anglo American Plc reported an increase of 53% in net profit to $US2 billion while profit increased 26% to $US1.96 billion. Total operating profit, excluding operating exceptional items of $US266 million, rose 62% to $US3.48 billion.

Acquisitions announced during the year totalled around $US4 billion, while expansionary capital expenditure in 2000 totalled $US841 million. Disposal of non-core assets generated cash proceeds of $US1.28 billion.

Tony Trahar, chief executive, said "the headline profit of $US2 billion for 2000 represents a record result. It reflects the strength of our business with strong contributions from platinum, diamonds, coal and forest products as well as the benefits of restructuring and expansion. We continue to focus on cost control and improving efficiencies across the group.”

The company said it had made considerable progress in realising the goal of becoming a focused global mining and natural resources group through organic and acquisitive growth and disposal of non-core interests.

Anglo’s growth through acquisitions totalled around $US4 billion in 2000 and included the purchase of the Australian and Venezuelan coal operations from Shell for $US959 million. The deal included the Moranbah North longwall mine in Queensland and the Dartbrook mine in NSW. Anglo Coal also finalised the buyout of Shell’s joint venture partners in the Drayton and Callide coal mines in October last year.

Anglo Coal contributed $US138 million to headline profit (7% of Anglo American's total headline profit). Operating profit was 48% higher at $US169 million, reflecting the first contribution of the newly purchased Australian coal assets. Attributable coal sales from the Australian operations amounted to 8.2Mt and contributed $US35 million to operating profit.

Coal sales for the year totaled 64.8Mt, 3Mt higher than in 1999. Operating profits from the South African operations were higher than in 1999 due to increased prices for export coal in the second half of the year and lower unit costs as a result of the substantial depreciation in the South African currency.

Coal sales from the South African operations amounted to 55.2Mt, 6.1Mt lower than the previous year. The decrease was due to the sale of various interests in the Arnot, Matla and New Clydesdale mines to black empowerment company Eyesizwe Coal, in July 2000.

The operating loss from the Colombian operations was US$2 million, an improvement of over 80% on 1999. Attributable coal sales amounted to 1.4Mt, up on the 900,000t produced in 1999. Carbones del Cerrejon is jointly owned by Anglo Coal, Glencore, and Billiton. In November 2000, new consortium acquired the Colombian Government's 50% interest in the Cerrejon Zona Norte mining complex. This acquisition is expected to contribute over 3 million tonnes per annum of coal sales for Anglo Coal.