Sibanye-Stillwater delivered another record financial performance for 2021, with revenue of R172.2 billion (US$11.6 billion) and adjusted EBITDA of R68.6 billion (US$4.6 billion), respectively 35% and 39% higher than for 2020.
Record profit attributable to shareholders of Sibanye-Stillwater of R33.1 billion (US$2.2 billion) and adjusted free cash flow (AFCF) of R37.4 billion million (US$2.5 billion), underpinned increased returns to shareholders and successful delivery of all other elements of the Group’s capital allocation framework exceeding expectations that were set at the beginning of the year.
Its green metals strategy also advanced significantly during the year, with strategic positions secured in key jurisdictions close to rapidly growing battery production markets in Europe and North America.
Annual production guidance was achieved by all the operating segments for 2021, providing a solid base for improved Group profitability on the back of robust commodity prices. The operating performance from the SA PGM operations for 2021 was particularly strong, with production of 1,836,138 4Eoz above the upper end of the guided range for 2021 and all-in sustaining cost (AISC) well below the lower end of annual guidance and lower year-on-year.
Gold production of 27,747kg (892,087oz) from the SA gold operations (excluding DRDGOLD) for 2021 was within annual guidance with production of 14,348kg (461,299oz) for H2 2021, 7% higher than for H1 2021, despite approximately 600kg (19,300oz) less production as a result of the safety stoppages towards the end of the year.
2E PGM production of 570,400 2Eoz from the US PGM operations for 2021 was within the lower end of revised annual guidance, with ongoing regulatory and self imposed restrictions after the fatal accident at the Stillwater West mine during June 2021 impacting throughout H2 2021.
The US recycling business had another strong year, achieving planned throughput and generating strong cash flow through active supplier management and the drawdown of spent catalyst inventory towards the end of the year.
Normalised earnings for 2021 increased by 27% to R38.9 billion (US$2.6 billion) year-on-year , driven by the strong performance during H1 2021, with normalised earnings of R14.5 billion (US$963 million) for H2 2021, 34% lower than for H2 2020, primarily due to a sharp decline in precious metals prices during the period.
The Group ended the year in a robust financial position, with cash and cash equivalents of R30.3 billion (US$1.9 billion) exceeding borrowings (excluding non-recourse Burnstone debt) of R18.8 billion (US$1.2 billion), resulting in a R11.5 billion (US$719 million) net cash position with the net cash: Adjusted EBITDA ratio at 0.17x. The improved financial position and favourable interest rates enabled the replacement of higher cost debt with the Group replacing its 2022 and 2025 notes raised at the time of the Stillwater acquisition, with new 2026 and 2029 notes, raising US$1.2 billion on significantly better terms.