StockMarketWire.com - Anglo America said production at a platinum unit was expected to return to pre-Covid-19 levels in 2021.

It also reported a jump in annual profit at the unit, even as production was impacted by coronavirus lockdowns.

The company guided precious group metals (PGM) production of between 4.2 and 4.6 million ounces in 2021, while refined production was expected to reach 4.6 to 5 million ounces. PGM sales volumes, meanwhile, were forecast to be in line with refined production.

The upbeat production forecast came as profit jumped in 2020, despite a 14% year-on-year decline in PGM production to 3,808,900 ounces, mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Pre-tax profit rose to R40.86 billion from R99.6 billion year-on-year.

The company reported a final dividend declared of R35.35 per share, or R9.4 billion, based on a payout ratio of 40% of headline earnings.

Looking ahead, the company forecast unit cost between R11,000 and R11,500 per PGM ounce, compared with R11,739 in 2020.

Total capital expenditure guidance was expected to be between R7.0 and R7.5 billion, while capitalised waste-stripping guidance was between R2.8 and R3.1 billion.

The company also said it was targeting a 20% increase in production in 2030.



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