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Kumba boosts dividend as earnings soar

High iron ore prices and cost containment have helped Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore deliver record financial results and a boosted dividend.
Kumba boosts dividend as earnings soar Kumba boosts dividend as earnings soar Kumba boosts dividend as earnings soar Kumba boosts dividend as earnings soar Kumba boosts dividend as earnings soar

Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela operations in South Africa

Ngaire McDiarmid

Reporter

The company reported a jump in EBITDA to R44.4 billion for the six months to June 30 - nearly eclipsing the record EBITDA of R45.8 billion for full-year 2020.

Attributable free cash flow was R31.5 billion.

"This supports the board's decision to declare an interim dividend of R72.70 per share and represents a payout ratio of 100% of headline earnings," CEO Themba Mkhwanazi said.

This compares with an interim cash dividend of R19.60 a year ago.

The South Africa-based company received an average realised FOB price of US$216 per wet metric tonne for the period, 32% above benchmark.

It also announced cost savings of R370 million.

"Kumba's first half performance reflects operational resilience and benefit our value over volume realisation strategy," Mkhwanazi said.

Kumba last week reduced its 2021 sales guidance by 1 million tonnes to 39-40Mt due to rail constraints and adverse weather at the port in the first half of the year.

Total production was kept at 40-41 million dry metric tonnes.

Mkhwanazi also heralded Kumba achieving five years of fatality-free production, which he said was "a significant accomplishment" for the company and the South African mining industry.

He said Kumba had also started to roll-out its government-licensed vaccination programme at its Sishen and Kolomela mine clinics, "serving first our workforce and ultimately their families and communities when we are able to do so".

Kumba shares (JSE: KIO) are trading near the top of a one-year range and closed down 0.1% yesterday to R729.18, valuing it at R234.9 billion (US$15.9 billion).