The offset allowed the Anglo-Swiss multinational to finish the year two per cent down in core profit. The company posted 2014 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $12.8bn (£8.3bn), in line with expectations. Earnings from its trading outfit grew to $3bn, with those of its mining division falling seven per cent to $9.8bn.
The fact that the firm makes a quarter of its revenues from commodities trading has allowed it to withstand the heavy decline in oil and metal prices better than many its rivals.
Chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said: “Our ultimate goal remains to grow our free cash flow and return excess capital in the most sustainable and efficient manner.
“As the most diversified raw material producer and marketer, Glencore is well positioned to react to and benefit from changes in commodity fundamentals.”
“While there remains the potential for future economic setbacks and no shortage of bearishness towards commodities in financial markets, physical demand for our raw materials remains healthy.
“We anticipate tightening supply conditions to materialise in our key commodities in response to lower prices, production/investment cutbacks and falling grades.”