Upbeat Anglo American is prepared to go it alone as an independent company

| February 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

By
Roger Baird

Last updated at 9:56 PM on 17th February 2012

Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll

Confident: Anglo chief Cynthia Carroll

Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll insisted the miner has the firepower to grow as an independent company despite sweeping consolidation across the industry.

Carroll posted upbeat annual profits and said Anglo is not a sitting duck for a bid after rivals Glencore and Xstrata agreed to a £56bn merger earlier this month.

She is confident Anglo, valued at £32.4bn, can compete against the biggest rivals in the sector as they feed off the industrial growth of emerging countries such as China and India.

The chief executive said: ‘Anglo American has the scale, breath of commodities and wherewithal to support its project pipeline, so it doesn’t change anything from a competitive standpoint.’

Carroll added the firm has plenty of capacity to grow pointing out it has 85 production projects on its books, valued at £62bn.

Overall, Anglo posted robust full-year profits as high prices for coal and iron ore offset a dip in the traditionally strong price of copper.

It saw annual pre-tax profit up 1 per cent at £6.8bn while operating profit was hiked by 14 per cent, hitting a record £7bn.

Anglo (up 30p to 2674p) said its largest iron ore unit rose 23 per cent to £2.8bn, as prices rose in the first half of the year.

This unit was helped by the Kolomela iron ore mine in South Africa which went on stream in December, five months ahead of schedule.

Anglo’s coal operations also performed well, with thermal coal rising 73 per cent to £758m.

However copper, which is historically the group’s second largest unit, fell 13pc to £1.6bn – hit by lower sales volumes and higher production costs.

Anglo also raised its dividend 14 per cent to 47p.

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