2021 Half Year Financial Report
Strong Financial Performance
Antofagasta plc CEO Iván Arriagada said:
“We have seen strong copper demand and prices at multi-year highs over the first half of this year which has contributed to the robust financial performance of the Group, generating revenues of $3.6 billion and increasing EBITDA by 133% to a record $2.4 billion and our EBITDA margin to 66%.
“The half year was not without challenges as we continued to manage our operations and projects under COVID-19 conditions, although the resilience and agility of the Group has resulted in costs below guidance. COVID-19 continues to impact our communities as well, which is why we have extended our community COVID Fund into 2021, totalling now $12 million since the outbreak of the pandemic.
“The weather in central Chile during H1 saw unprecedentedly dry conditions, with almost no rainfall. We have now had 12 years of drought, and the precipitation in 2021 has so far been less than in 2019, which itself was one of the driest years on record. As a result, assuming there is only minimal precipitation during the rest of H2, we are adjusting our full year copper production guidance to 710-740,000 tonnes as the winter rainy season is now coming to an end. However, we are maintaining net cost guidance at $1.25/lb.
“Following our strong performance in H1, the Board has declared an interim dividend of 23.6 cents per share, in line with our normal pay-out ratio for interims of 35% of net earnings.
“Our key growth projects are on track and we remain focused on operating discipline and cost control, while producing copper responsibly and sustainably for all our stakeholders.”
- Sadly, after 33 months without a fatality a contractor suffered a fatal accident at Los Pelambres in July. Our condolences go to the family of our colleague, and a full investigation is underway, following which actions identified during the review will be implemented under the direct oversight of senior management. Safety remains the Group’s top priority
- Revenue for the first half of 2021 was $3,591 million, 67.9% higher than the same period in 2020 mainly as a result of higher realised copper prices, partially offset by a decrease in the volume of copper sales
- EBITDA(1) was a record $2,357 million, 132.7% higher than in the same period last year on higher revenue partially offset by higher operating costs due to the stronger Chilean peso, and higher energy and diesel prices
- EBITDA margin(2) was 65.6%, compared to 47.4% in H1 2020 and 53.4% for the full year 2020
- The Cost and Competitiveness Programme generated savings of $43 million in the first half of 2021, equivalent to 5c/lb of unit cash costs
- Profit before tax was $1,784 million, a $1,396 million increase on the same period in 2020
- Strong balance sheet with net cash of $701 million at 30 June, an improvement of $783 million from the net debt position at the end of 2020. Cash flow from operations was $2,461 million compared with $907 million in the first half of 2020
- Capital expenditure of $782 million was 49% of full year guidance
- Earnings per share of 67.5 cents, 53.8 cents higher than the same period in 2020
- Interim dividend of 23.6 cents per share, an increase of 280.6% on last year’s interim. Dividends for both periods were equivalent to a payout ratio of 35% of underlying net earnings
Production and cost performance (as previously announced)
- Group copper production in the first six months of the year was 361,500 tonnes, in line with expectations and 2.8% lower than in the same period last year mainly because of lower grades
- Cash costs before by-product credits for the first half of the year were $1.73/lb, 14.6% higher than in the same period last year primarily because of the stronger Chilean peso (11%), higher energy and diesel prices, and the lower copper production
- Net cash costs were $1.14/lb for the first half of the year, 1.8% higher than in the first half of 2020. This was mainly due to higher cash costs before by-product credits, offset by higher by-product credits on higher realised prices
- This year has been the driest of a 12-year drought in Chile. Since the Company released its Quarterly Production Report on 21 July there has been no precipitation at Los Pelambres and temperatures have been unseasonably high. Given the traditional rainy season runs from June to September, it is looking increasingly likely that the low levels of precipitation will continue until at least the Southern Hemisphere winter next year. As water is essential to the operation of Los Pelambres’s concentrator plant, if there is only minimal precipitation during the balance of winter full year Group copper production would be impacted. Guidance has therefore been revised from 730-760,000 tonnes to 710-740,000 tonnes
- Net cash cost guidance for the full year is maintained at $1.25/lb, assuming by-product prices and the Chilean Peso exchange rate remain at similar levels as in the first half of the year
- Next year’s mine plans are being prepared and Group production guidance will be released, as usual, in the Q3 Production Report. Different weather and associated operating scenarios are being evaluated. However, if there is no precipitation until the next rainy season and when the desalination plant comes into operation in H2 2022, preliminary estimates are that up to approximately 50,000 tonnes of production could be at risk at Los Pelambres in 2022
- Capital expenditure during H1 was in line with annual guidance of $1.6 billion. As COVID-19 infection rates continue to fall in Chile, opportunities to accelerate the execution of selected capital expenditure programmes are being considered
Growth projects in execution
- As previously announced, at the end of H1 the Los Pelambres Expansion project was 52% complete and is expected to be completed in H2 2022 in line with guidance
- The desalination plant and related marine works have been minimally impacted by COVID-19
- At the concentrator expansion site, managing health risks and higher absenteeism during the recent peak of infections in the neighbouring communities has required adjustments to manpower numbers and shift patterns. However, these are returning to normal with more than 70% of the project workforce fully vaccinated and the number of cases in local communities decreasing
- On completion of the desalination plant, the Group’s exposure to water scarcity risk will be very substantially removed. An application to further expand the plant is underway
- At Zaldívar construction of the Chloride Leach project at the end of H1 was 76% complete and is expected to be completed in H1 2022 in line with guidance
- In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and after a voluntary evaluation process, Centinela obtained the international Copper Mark in July. The Copper Mark certifies that the company’s operations comply with strict internationally recognised sustainable production standards
- Having achieved the Company’s first targeted reduction of 300,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2020, the Company announced a new target to further reduce its direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions by 30%, or 730,000 tonnes of CO2e by 2025, relative to 2020
- On track to achieve savings target of $100 million for the full year
- The proposed new mining royalty is currently being considered by the Senate. A revision to the proposed draft is expected to be presented to the Senate in the coming weeks
|UNAUDITED RESULTS SIX MONTHS ENDING 30 JUNE||2021||2020||%|
|Underlying earnings per share(1)||cents||67.5||17.8||279.2|
|Earnings per share||cents||67.5||13.7||392.7|
|Dividend per share||cents||23.6||6.2||280.6|
|Cash flow from operations(3)||$m||2,460.5||906.9||171.3|
|Net debt at period end||$m||(701.3)||319.5||
|Realised copper price||$/lb||4.42||2.46||79.5|
|Cash costs before by-product credits(1)||$/lb||1.73||1.51||14.6|
|Net cash costs(1)||$/lb||1.14||1.12||1.8|
Note: The financial results are for continuing operations and are prepared in accordance with IFRS unless otherwise noted below.
(1) Non-IFRS measures. Refer to the alternative performance measures section on page 59 in the half-year financial report below.
(2) Calculated as EBITDA/Revenue. If Associates and JVs’ revenue is included EBITDA Margin was 62.1% in HY 2021 and 44.1% in HY 2020.
(3) On a cash basis.
(4) Does not include 21,100 tonnes of sales by Zaldívar in HY 2021 and 27,400 tonnes in HY 2020, as it is equity accounted.
A recording and copy of the 2021 Half Year Results presentation is available for download from the Company’s website www.antofagasta.co.uk. There will be a Q&A video conference call on 19 August 2021 at 1:00pm BST hosted by Iván Arriagada-Chief Executive Officer, Mauricio Ortiz-Chief Financial Officer and René Aguilar, Vice President-Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. Participants can join the conference call here.
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