Tuesday 16 February 2021 7:40 am

Glencore reinstates dividend after slimming down debt

Glencore today said it will reinstate its dividend for the full year after improved second-half trading helped the mining giant trim its debt pile.

The London-listed firm, which last year slashed its dividend in a bid to reduce debt, has proposed a payout of $1.6bn (£1.1bn) for 2020, or $0.12 per share.

It follows an improved performance for Glencore as commodities prices recovered in the second half of the year.

As a result, the company’s net debt fell 10 per cent to $15.8bn.

Glencore’s adjusting earnings were flat year on year at $11.6bn, with stronger marketing and industrial metals offset by weaker coal prices.

But the commodities group swung to a $1.9bn loss after booking impairment charges of $5.9bn, largely related to the sale of its Mopani copper mines, Columbian coal and its African oil portfolio.

Revenue was a third lower in 2020 at $142bn.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is an extraordinary challenge that continues to impact many aspects of day-to-day life,” said Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg.

“Against this backdrop, the strength of our 2020 underlying performance is a credit to our highly skilled and dedicated employees, and also reflects our unique business model and ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs.”

Glencore hailed an “extraordinary” marketing performance, with earnings up more than 40 per cent to $4.4bn.

The company said it had set out its strategy for meeting targets in the Paris Climate Agreement and this would be put to shareholders for an advisory vote at the annual general meeting in April.