AngloGold Ashanti earns $228m on higher gold price

AngloGold Ashanti says it would increase its final dividend after fourth quarter adjusted headline earnings rose to a record $228 million on higher gold price and increased production from the company’s mines in Africa and South America.

A press statement issued by AngloGold Ashanti Wednesday February 17, 2010 announcing the earnings and copied to says the final dividend of 70 South African cents a share is 17% more than the interim dividend of 2009 and the total dividend declaration of 130 South African cents, a 30% improvement on 2008’s final declaration.

It added that adjusted headline earnings rose to $228m, or 62 US cents a share for the three months to December 31, compared with $162m, or 45 US cents in the previous quarter. The figure for the third quarter excludes the cost of buying back hedge contracts.

Commenting, the CEO of AngloGold Ashanti Mark Cutifani said “there’s a strong level of confidence in our ability to generate cash over the long term as we continue to make improvements to the operational side of our business.”

“The increased dividend is a sign of that growing confidence,” he said.

AngloGold Ashanti has over the past year reduced net debt by a third to $868m and cut its hedge commitments by more than two thirds to 3.9 million ounces in order to increase exposure to the gold price. Now, with the financial platform in place, the company is implementing its Project ONE business improvement initiative to lower costs and increase production in coming years.

AngloGold Ashanti is one of the major global mining companies operating in Ghana.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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