Return to news listing NEWS RELEASE - 16.03.21

2020 Preliminary Results

Strong EBITDA margins and balance sheet

Antofagasta plc CEO Iván Arriagada said:

“The year has been challenging, but we have successfully kept our people safe and healthy, achieved our production and exceeded our cost targets, and increased EBITDA by 12.3% to $2.7 billion, yielding a 53% EBITDA margin. I am proud of how everyone at Antofagasta has worked together and adjusted to overcome the year’s challenges.

“Our resilient operations performed well with high levels of throughput and our Cost and Competitiveness Programme delivered benefits of $197 million, nearly double the targeted amount. Our balance sheet strengthened even further.

“Full year copper production was 733,900 tonnes and net cash costs were $1.14/lb, reflecting the company’s agility in changing operating conditions.

“In 2021, we will continue to focus on our safety and operating performance, and we expect copper production to be 730-760,000 tonnes at a net cash cost of $1.25/lb as ore grades increase at Centinela Concentrates and our operating efficiency remains high.

“We are delighted that 100% of our mining division’s electricity consumption in 2022 will be from renewable sources.

“The Board has declared a final dividend of 48.5 cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 54.7 cents per share, equivalent to a pay-out ratio of 100%.”


Financial performance

  • Revenue for the full year was $5,129 million, 3.3% higher than in 2019 reflecting increases in copper and gold realised prices, partially offset by the decrease in sales volumes

  • EBITDA(1) was $2,739 million, 12.3% higher than the previous year on higher revenue and lower unit costs due to the weaker Chilean peso, lower input costs and continued tight cost control

  • EBITDA margin(2) increased to 53.4% from 49.1% in 2019

  • Cost and Competitiveness Programme generated benefits of $197 million, nearly double the original target of $100 million

  • Cash flow from operations was $2,431 million, 5.4% lower than in 2019 as the higher copper price increased working capital

  • Strong balance sheet with net debt of $82 million at the end of 2020, equivalent to a Net Debt/EBITDA ratio of 0.03 times

  • Capital expenditure increased to $1,307 million(3), $229 million higher than in 2019 due to increased capital expenditure on the Los Pelambres Expansion project

  • Underlying earnings per share from continuing operations and excluding exceptional items(1) of 54.7 cents, 7.5% higher than in 2019 with higher EBITDA offset by higher depreciation and amortisation, and tax

  • Earnings per share from continuing and discontinued operations including exceptional items were 50.6 cents, 0.4 cents lower than in 2019

  • Final dividend of 48.5 cents per share declared, bringing the total dividend for the year to 54.7 cents per share, equal to 100% of underlying earnings per share

Operating performance (as previously announced)

  • Safety remains our top priority. The Group experienced a record safety performance at all its mining and transport operations and is now in its third year without any fatalities
  • Copper production for the full year was 733,900 tonnes, 4.7% lower than 2019 on expected lower grades at Centinela Concentrates, which will be reversed in 2021
  • Gold production was above guidance at 204,100 ounces, 27.7% less than in 2019 on expected lower grades at Centinela
  • Molybdenum production in 2020 was 12,600 tonnes, 8.6% higher than in 2019 and within guidance
  • Cash costs before by-product credits(1) for the full year were $1.56/lb, 9c/lb lower than last year due to the weaker Chilean peso, lower input costs and continued tight cost control, partially offset by lower production
  • Net cash costs(1) for 2020 were $1.14/lb, below guidance and 6.6% lower than in 2019 due to lower cash costs before by-product credits

2021 Guidance (as previously announced) 

  • Guidance assumes that COVID-19 will continue for the whole of 2021
  • Production in 2021 is expected to be 730-760,000 tonnes of copper, 240-260,000 ounces of gold and 9,500-11,000 tonnes of molybdenum. The higher copper and gold production compared to 2020 reflects higher grades at Centinela Concentrates
  • Cash costs in 2021 before and after by-product credits are expected to be $1.65/lb and $1.25/lb respectively
  • Capital expenditure in 2021 is expected to be $1.6 billion(3) as the rate of expenditure on the Group’s growth projects accelerates following their temporary suspension in 2020 which deferred some $200 million into 2021, and higher expenditure at the Los Pelambres Expansion project


  • Separate labour negotiations are currently underway with the plant and mine unions at Los Pelambres and are expected to be concluded by the end of March
Revenue $m 5,129.3 4,964.5 3.3
EBITDA(1) $m 2,739.2 2,438.9 12.3
EBITDA margin(1,2) % 53.4% 49.1% 8.8
Underlying Earnings per share(1) (continuing operations excluding exceptional items) cents 54.7 50.9 7.5
Earnings per share (continuing and discontinued operations including exceptional items) cents 51.3 50.9 0.8
Dividend per share cents 54.7 17.8 207.3
Cash flow from operations (continuing and discontinued) $m 2,431.1 2,570.7 (5.4)
Capital expenditure(3) $m 1,307.4 1,078.8 20.1
Net debt at period end(1) $m 82.0 563.4 (85.4)
Average realised copper price $/lb 2.98 2.75 8.4
Copper sales kt 738.5 772.2 (4.4)
Gold sales koz 199.6 288.8 (30.9)
Molybdenum sales kt 12.5 12.1 3.3
Cash costs before by-product credits(1) $/lb 1.56 1.65 (5.5)
Net cash costs(1) $/lb 1.14 1.22 (6.6)

Note: The financial results are prepared in accordance with IFRS, unless otherwise noted below.
(1) Non IFRS measures. Refer to the alternative performance measures in Note 31 to the financial statements
(2) Calculated as EBITDA/Revenue. If Associates and JVs revenue is included the EBITDA margin was 50.4% in 2020 and 45.3% in 2019.
(3) On a cash basis

A recording and copy of the 2020 Full Year Results presentation is available for download from the Company’s website

There will be a Q&A video conference call on 16 March 2021 at 12:30pm GMT. Participants can join the conference call here. 

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Investors – London
Andrew Lindsay 
Andres Vergara
Telephone +44 20 7808 0988

Media – London
Carole Cable
Telephone +44 20 7404 5959

Media – Santiago
Pablo Orozco
Carolina Pica
Telephone +56 2 2798 7000

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