Anglo American Platinum CEO Griffith to step down

Anglo American Platinum CEO Griffith to step down
JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said on Monday its Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith will step down effective April 16 to pursue other career opportunities, and the miner posted a surge in annual earnings on higher metal prices.

The company said its successor, who is expected to be an internal candidate from within the Anglo American group, will be announced in the near future.

“After more than seven years at the helm, and given all that we as a team have achieved, this is now the natural time for the next generation of leadership to take this business forward and deliver further value,” Griffith said in a statement.

Anglo American Platinum Chairman Norman Mbazima thanked Griffith for his more than 30-year service, saying the company is well-positioned to continue growing from its current strength. The South Africa-based miner said due to higher metal prices its annual headline earnings per share - the main profit measure used in South Africa - were nearly 2-1/2 times higher at 70.87 rand, versus 28.93 rand a year earlier.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) doubled to 30 billion rand ($2.02 billion) from the year-ago period.

Prices for palladium and rhodium, widely used in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful emissions, have climbed as tighter environmental regulations force carmakers to buy more of the precious metal used in catalytic converters.

Amplats declared a final dividend of 41.60 rand per share, made up of 16.60 rand base dividend and 25.00 rand special dividend, bringing the total dividend for the year to 52.60 rand per share compared with 11.25 rand on-year.