Business News 15.8.2016 10:25 am

AngloGold Ashanti trebles free cash flow, slashes debt

AngloGold Ashanti Photo: Supplied

AngloGold Ashanti Photo: Supplied

The company said free cash flow was up at US $108m in the first half of 2016.

AngloGold Ashanti has on Monday said it had more than trebled free cash-flow generation in the first half and lowered net debt by almost a third as costs fell and the gold price rose.

The company said in a statement that free cash flow was up at US $108m for the six months to the end of June. It said the improvement was driven by cost containment, weaker currencies in key operating jurisdictions, $33m in interest savings and a 1% higher gold price received.

The gold miner cut net debt by 32% to $2.1bn as at June 30 from $3.1bn at the end of June last year.

“AngloGold Ashanti has delivered on a range of self-help measures over the past two years to reduce debt using internally generated funds,” the statement said.

The company has sold some mines, closed others and made significant reductions to all areas of cost, “as it prioritises sustainable improvements to free cash flow and returns”.

“We will continue to push hard to improve operational and cost performance, as well as our overall balance sheet flexibility, regardless of the gold price environment,” chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said. “Our focus remains to improve margins and grow cash flow and returns on a sustainable basis.”

Bloomberg on Monday reported that the company said it would consider resuming dividend payments next year after a four-year hiatus.

On August 1, AngloGold Ashanti completed the redemption of the remaining 8.5%, seven year bonds outstanding, at a total cost of the $503m, wiping out the company’s most expensive debt.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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