Anglo American posts record high profits

Mining company's profits for 2011 close up 14% at $11bn.

Anglo American, the global mining company and 15th-largest business listed on the FTSE 100 index, has reported a 14 per cent rise in full-year profits to $11.1billion (£7bn) -- a record high for the company.

Anglo American is the world's largest producer of platinum (with around 40 per cent of total output), though its own largest divison, iron ore, generated a record operating profit in 2011. Kumba Iron Ore, Amplats and De Beers -- all units of Anglo American -- had already reported increased earnings for the year. The operating profits of Anglo American's iron ore operations rose 23 per cent over the year, reacing $4.5bn (£2.8bn).

A record income in its coal division, too, helped offset a 13 per cent loss in operating profits of copper, where raised costs and lower salestrumped higher prices for the material in the early months of 2011. Other materials manganese, metallurgical coal and diamonds all performed well.

In response to the jump in profits, Anglo American raised its dividends to shareholders by 14 per cent to $0.74 (74 cents) a share. The stock market reacted by increasing shares by 1.4 per cent, or 36.5p, to 2680.5p.

There were 17 deaths at the mining company last year; 12 of those from its platinum division.

Anglo American's CEO, Cynthia Carroll, speaks about the 2011 record profits in a video interview here.