LONDON: Resources giant Anglo American plc unveiled a 2% rise in half-year profit yesterday, well above forecasts, but said the outlook for its key businesses remained challenging.
“The low growth forecasts for the US, Japan and much of Euroland remain of concern. Against this background and the prospect of a continued strong (South African) rand...the outlook for our key businesses remains challenging,” chief executive Tony Trahar said.
Anglo, South Africa’s biggest firm and the world's third biggest miner, turned in a net profit before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation of US$856mil for the six months to June 30, against US$840mil a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a drop in profit, pulled down mainly by a steep rise in the South African currency’s value against the US dollar during the half year. Their forecasts ranged between US$800mil and US$830mil.
Anglo said strong performances from diamonds, paper and packaging, and industrial minerals more than offset the lower contributions from platinum, gold and coal. Particularly strong were the results from diamond miner De Beers, which is 45% owned by Anglo.
The company's earnings, demonstrating the strength of its diversified asset base, also fared better than those of its bigger rival Rio Tinto, which last month posted a 9% drop in half-year net profit. – Reuters