Anglo's revamp plan boosts 2013 underlying earnings

Reuters - UK Focus

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) said on Friday its large Minas Rio project was on trackto deliver iron ore by the end of the year, as it posted aforecast-beating increase in 2013 operating profit.

Anglo registered a 6 percent rise in underlying operatingprofit to $6.6 billion, ahead of analyst forecasts. ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S had forecast $5.6 billion, compared to thecompany-provided consensus of $6.3 billion.

Underlying earnings fell 7 percent to $2.7 billion.

Anglo said its Minas Rio iron ore project in Brazil was ontrack to deliver its first iron ore shipment by the end of 2014and the project's planned overall spending cost was unchangedfrom its latest presentation in November at $8.8 billion.

Anglo, the smallest of the major diversified miners,hasembarked on an overhaul plan under chief executive MarkCutifani, after years of sector-lagging returns.

Anglo American's iron ore division Kumba, by farthe largest contributor to Anglo's profits, posted earlier thisweek a 24 percent jump in underlying full-year earnings,recovering from a wave of illegal strikes which hit SouthAfrica's mining sector in 2012.

Industrial action, particularly in platinum, remains aserious concern for Anglo though.

Its platinum division Amplats swung back tofull-profit in 2013 but its recovery is threatened by freshlabour unrest across South Africa's platinum belt.

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