Thursday 20 February 2020 1:36 pm

Anglo American profit boosted as it circles Sirius Minerals

Mining giant Anglo American has reported a strong set of results for 2019.

The company saw a nine per cent increase in underlying EBITDA from $9.1bn (£7bn) in 2018 to $10bn at the end of 2019.

Anglo American boss Mark Cutifani, said: “We continue building on the fundamental structural and operational improvements we have embedded across our business.

“The result is founded on high quality, low cost, world class assets.”

Anglo American took the opportunity today to defend its offer price for UK firm Sirius Minerals which has been planning a fertiliser mine in North Yorkshire.

Cutifani said the £405m offer “takes into account future investment and project needs and consistent with that we believe our offer is fair and reasonable.”

Although the boss of Sirius, its board and the local MP urged shareholders to accept the deal, it remains controversial.

City veteran and Sirius investor Crispin Odey has spoken out about the deal, suggesting the takeover offer “significantly undervalues” the Sirius shares.

However, unless the deal goes through, Sirius bosses said it could go into administration.

Read more: Anglo takeover becomes Sirius’ last hope as alternative falls through

Shareholders will meet on 3 March to make their decision.

Anglo American’s shares in London were up around 1.6 per cent on the back of results, which were slightly ahead of expectations.

The board proposed a dividend of $0.47 per share, meaning total dividends paid and proposed in respect of 2019 to $1.09 a share, up $1 per share in 2018.

The company lists acquiring key mining sites around the world as part of its core strategy.

Anglo also said coronavirus would likely hit its diamond and iron ore sales into China, but that it remained less exposed to the market thank its peers.