Anglo American delivers biggest dividend in a decade on improved 2017 results

Anglo American announced its 2017 financial results which revealed that the miner reduced its net debt by 47%, putting itself in a position to deliver its biggest dividend in a decade.

Net debt fell to US$4.5 billion last year, well below the London-listed firm’s target of $7 billion, while annual revenue rose 18.7% to $26.2 billion and pre-tax profits doubled to $5.5 billion.

Much like several other blue-chip mining companies in recent months, Anglo reintroduced its final dividend, paying out 54 US cents for 2017, taking its final shareholder returns to 102 cents after an interim pay-out at the mid-point of last year.

The dividend, Anglo’s largest in a decade, is symbolic of the wider recovery in the global mining environment after a steep downturn triggered commodity prices to hover in the doldrums until last year.

Anglo’s chief executive Mark Cutifani said: “We have delivered a 93% increase in attributable free cash flow, almost halving net debt to $4.5 billion at the year end.

“These strong financial results benefit from transformed productivities and efficiencies across our business – including a 28% productivity improvement in 2017 alone – together with our portfolio upgrading and improved prices for many of our products.

“Our increased dividend for the second half equates to our targeted level of 40% of underlying earnings, totalling $1.02 per share for the year as a whole.”