Mining company Anglo American PLC posted Friday a record operating profit for last year following big advances in its coal and diamonds operations.
The group reported a record operating profit before special items and remeasurements of $11.1 billion, up 14 percent on the year before. Underlying earnings per share were 23 percent higher and the full-year dividend was raised 14 percent to $0.74 per share.
However, its net profit declined 6 percent to $6.17 billion from $6.54 billion in 2010, when it posted a big gain on asset disposals. Gains on asset disposals last year fell to $183 million compared to $1.6 billion in 2010, as the company said sales of noncore operations have been largely completed.
Anglo American shares were up 1.2 percent at 2,675 pence in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.
Chief Executive Cynthia Carroll said the group completed three major projects in 2011: the Kolomela iron ore mine in South Africa, the expansion of the Los Bronces copper mine in Chile and the Barro Alto nickel operation in Brazil.
Anglo American agreed in November to sell its 24.5 percent stake in Anglo American Sur, its copper assets in Chile, to Mitsubishi for $5.4 billion. That sale is being challenged by Codelco, Chile's state-owned copper miner, which has an option to take a 49 percent stake.
A more detailed look at the results shows that overall revenues swelled 11 percent to $36.5 billion.
The company also reported record operating profits for coal and diamonds. The operating profit for iron ore and manganese, the biggest sector within Anglo American, was up 23 percent.
Anglo American raised its stake in the De Beers diamond business to 85 percent in November when it bought the Oppenheimer family's shares. DeBeers' sales were up 26 percent last year to $7.4 billion
"Despite short term uncertainty persisting in the global economy, particularly in Europe, the longer term outlook for Anglo American's diversified mix of commodities remains strong," Carroll said.