AngloGold Ashanti moots higher dividend as gold price boosts earnings

File: AngloGold said its headline earnings per share for the six months ended June rose 234 percent to 97 cents against 29 cents a year earlier.

File: AngloGold said its headline earnings per share for the six months ended June rose 234 percent to 97 cents against 29 cents a year earlier.

JOHANNESBURG - AngloGold Ashanti said on Friday it would consider paying a higher annual dividend after reporting a more than 200 percent jump in first-half earnings, driven by higher gold prices and a weaker local currency.

AngloGold, which has operations in Australia, Brazil and Tanzania, said its headline earnings per share for the six months ended June rose 234 percent to 97 cents against 29 cents a year earlier, despite output disruptions caused by COVID-19.

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Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed 59 percent.

Spot gold has roared past $2,000 an ounce for the first time, giving South African gold miners a lifeline after the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AngloGold, which pays an annual dividend of 10 percent of its free cash flow before growth capital, said free cash flow had increased more than four-fold to $324 million.

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The bullion miner, which is completing the sale of its last South African assets, said it had lost around 85,000 ounces of output due to COVID-19, with 63,000 ounces of that from South Africa.

Production during the period was 1.469 million ounces compared to 1.554 million ounces for the first six months of last year.

Source
Reuters