In a year of two distinct halves, Anglo American recorded strong demand and prices for many products as economies recouped lost ground, spurred by government stimulus. Copper and PGMs – essential to the global decarbonisation imperative – and premium quality iron ore for greener steelmaking, supported by an improving market for diamonds, all contributed to a record financial performance, generating underlying EBITDA of $20.6 billion.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “We generated attributable free cash flow of $7.8 billion due largely to a strong price environment in the first half, which moderated in the second half. Our return on capital employed of 43% was well above our targeted 15% through-the-cycle return, as it should be in times of strong pricing, and we increased our mining EBITDA margin to 56%. We are resolutely committed to capital discipline and to maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet. At the end of 2021, net debt of $3.8 billion, or 0.2x underlying EBITDA, reflects the strong cash generation of the business, partially offset by our investments in growth. The proposed final dividend of $1.18 per share, in line with our 40% payout policy, in addition to a special dividend of $0.50 per share, will bring our total return to shareholders in respect of 2021 to $6.2 billion (including share buyback), equal to $4.99 per share.
“Our balanced investments are driving margin-enhancing volume growth of 35% over the next decade, including copper from Quellaveco, due to start up mid-year. The large majority of our output and investment capital is focused on future-enabling products – metals and minerals essential for decarbonisation and to meet global consumer demand.
Through our integrated technology and sustainability programme, we are well positioned to run the business safely and sustainably, further enhance our competitive position and – disciplined with our capital – deliver value-adding growth as a foundation for future returns.”