Anglo American losses double on commodity slump

GMT 10:38 2016 Tuesday ,16 February

Arab Today, arab today Anglo American losses double on commodity slump

The mining industry has been ravaged by tumbling metal prices
London - AFP

Mining giant Anglo American revealed Tuesday that 2015 net losses more than doubled on the commodity slump, adding it will sell another large tranche of assets.

The group, whose industry has been ravaged by tumbling metal prices and demand fears, said losses after tax stood at $5.6 billion (5.0 billion euros) in 2015 compared with $2.5 billion in 2014.

Losses ballooned as impairments hit $5.7 billion, reflecting "the impact of deteriorating market conditions, including weaker prices, on asset valuations", Anglo added in a results statement.

And the group announced it would seek to sell $3-4 billion worth of assets this year, having already raised $2.1 billion in 2015.

Anglo will meanwhile accelerate its exit from coal and may sell or spin off its South African iron-ore division.

The group has added its Moranbah and Grosvenor coal mines in Australia to the list of assets for sale, along with its nickel business.

"The global economic environment and its impact on prices have presented the industry with significant challenges during 2015," said chief executive Mark Cutifani.

The London-listed firm is seeking to move away from bulk commodities to focus on copper, diamonds and platinum.

The group will also seek to reduce net debt to less than $10 billion by the end of 2016.

“We of course recognise the current challenging environment in which to deliver disposals," added Cutifani.

“While we have accelerated our disposal processes, and given our targeted positive free cash flow and our robust liquidity position, we will take appropriate time to secure value.”

Faced with crashing commodity prices, Anglo had in December announced a radical cost-cutting overhaul to slash its workforce.

London-listed Anglo plans to axe its workforce by almost two-thirds, from 135,000 staff to 50,000 after 2017.

The prices of metals and many other raw materials, notably crude oil, have fallen sharply due to weak demand growth -- particularly from China, which is the world's second biggest economy.

In morning deals, Anglo shares slid 0.9 percent to 389.55 pence on London's FTSE 100 index, which was 0.6 percent higher at 5,858.4 points.

Anglo American's credit assessment was cut to junk on Monday by Moody’s ratings agency, making it the first major London-traded miner to be reduced to that level.

"The company's debt was downgraded to junk last night by Moody's and its disposal program is key to securing the balance sheet," said Liberum analysts in a note to clients.


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