Antofagasta FY revenue down 22% on prior year


Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) has announced its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2022.

Antofagasta plc CEO Iván Arriagada said: “The year ended strongly for the Company. EBITDA was $2.9 billion this year, and I am pleased that our EBITDA margin remained solid at 50%. Copper production reflected the expected continuing drought in Chile and the effects of increased input prices, and the pipeline incident at Los Pelambres. Over the year, we exited the Reko Diq project in Pakistan recognising a $945 million exceptional gain and we expect to receive that cash before the end of 2023. 

“Operations reported a record safety performance with no serious incidents and our Cost and Competitiveness Programme generated benefits of $124 million which is significantly above our target of $50 million. We recognise climate change as one of the greatest challenges facing the world today and acknowledge our responsibility to be part of the solution. Since April 2022 all our electricity contracts are from renewable energy, significantly reducing our Scope 2 emissions and allowing us to reach our goal three years earlier than targeted. 

“Looking ahead, the Los Pelambres expansion is expected to be in production during Q2 including the new desalination plant which will significantly alleviate the water constraints that we have experienced over the past 18 months. Also, copper and by-product production is expected to increase over the course of 2023 and we expect cash costs before by-product credits to remain in line with 2022. All this is supported by copper’s fundamentals which remain strong, with China showing signs of recovery and with the energy transition underpinning the long-term demand for copper. 

“In line with our dividend policy, the Board has recommended a final dividend of 50.5 cents per share, to be approved by shareholders at the AGM, which brings the total dividend for the year to 59.7 cents per share, equivalent to a pay-out ratio of 100%, reflecting our positive outlook for 2023.”


Financial performance

·      Revenue for the full year was $5,862 million, 22% lower than in 2021 reflecting a 12% decrease in copper sales and a 12% decrease in realised copper prices

·      EBITDA(1) was $2,930 million, 39% lower than the previous year on lower revenue and operating costs that increased by 10% mainly due to inflation and higher input prices

·      EBITDA margin(2) decreased to 50.0% from 64.7% in 2021

·      Cost and Competitiveness Programme (CCP) generated benefits of $124 million in 2022, above the original target of $50 million, through improved plant utilisation and more efficient use of inputs

·      Profit before tax including exceptional items decreased by 26% to $2,559 million

·      Cash flow from operations was $2,738 million, 39% lower than in 2021 due largely to lower EBITDA

·      Continuing strong balance sheet with a net debt to EBITDA ratio at the end of the period of 0.3 times. Net debt was $886 million at the end of the period compared with net cash of $540 million 12 months previously. This movement largely reflects the $1,172 million payment of the 2021 final dividend

·      Capital expenditure increased modestly to $1,879 million(3), $102 million higher than in 2021 partly reflecting higher prices for construction inputs with increased capital expenditure on sustaining projects at Centinela, and higher mine development expenditure at Los Pelambres and Centinela

·      Underlying earnings per share from continuing operations and excluding exceptional items(1) of 59.7 cents, 82.8 cents lower than in 2021

·      Exceptional gain of $945 million, following the completion of the definitive agreements for the Company to exit its indirect interest in the Reko Diq project

·      Earnings per share from continuing operations including exceptional items were 155.5 cents, 19% higher than in 2021

·      Final dividend of 50.5 cents per share recommended, to be approved by shareholders at the AGM, bringing the total dividend for the year to 59.7 cents per share, equal to 100% of underlying earnings per share

Operating performance (as previously announced)

·      Safety remains our top priority. With no serious incidents in 2022, all safety indicators improved during the year. The Mining division’s Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate fell by 32% and High Potential Incidents were down by 37%

·      Group copper production finished the year strongly and for the full year was 646,200 tonnes, 10.4% lower than last year mainly due to the temporary reduction in throughput (-12.0%) at Los Pelambres as a result of the drought and the reduced concentrate pipeline availability in June, and expected lower grades (-18.3%) at Centinela Concentrates

·      Gold production for the full year was 176,800 ounces, 29.9% lower than in the previous year as a result of the expected lower grades at Centinela

·      Molybdenum production for the full year was 9,700 tonnes, 7.6% lower than in 2021 due to lower throughput and grades at Los Pelambres

·      Cash costs before by-product credits(1) in 2022 were $2.19/lb, 22.3% higher than last year mainly due to the impact of the drought and higher input prices during the period, particularly for diesel and sulphuric acid, partly offset by the weaker Chilean peso and the savings coming from our Cost and Competitiveness Programme

·      Net cash costs(1) for the full year were $1.61/lb, 34.2% higher than in 2021 due to higher cash costs before by-product credits

2023 Guidance (as previously announced)

·      Group production in 2023 is expected to be 670-710,000 tonnes of copper, 220-240,000 ounces of gold and 10-11,500 tonnes of molybdenum. Copper guidance reflects that the Los Pelambres desalination and concentrator plants will be in production during the second quarter of the year partly offset by lower grades at Centinela Cathodes. Gold and molybdenum guidance reflects the higher grades and recoveries expected at Centinela Concentrates

·      Copper and by-product production is expected to increase quarter on quarter through the year

·      Group cash costs in 2023 before by-product credits are expected to be $2.20/lb, in line with 2022 reflecting higher production, CCP savings and decreased input costs, offset by inflation and a stronger Chilean peso

·      Group net cash costs in 2023 are expected to be $1.65/lb as by-product credits are forecast to decrease reflecting the expected fall in gold and molybdenum prices

·      Capital expenditure in 2023 is expected to be $1.9 billion(3), as sustaining and mine development expenditure increase to approximately $1.5 billion due to inflation, higher-than-average mine development at Centinela Concentrates, detailed engineering works on the Los Pelambres desalination expansion and concentrate pipeline projects and the expansion of the tailing storage facility at Centinela. Development expenditure is expected to reduce to $400 million and includes residual expenditure on the Los Pelambres Expansion project and on engineering and pre-investment commitment work on the Centinela Second Concentrator project


·      Total mineral resources increased by 921 million tonnes during the year, including a maiden inferred resource at Encierro of 522 million tonnes at 0.79% CuEq and an additional 100 million tonnes of inferred resources at Cachorro, both of which are in northern Chile

·      Cuprochlor-T proprietary primary leach process advanced during the year and was incorporated into future mine plans

EBITDA margin(1, 2)%50.0%64.7%(22.7)
Profit before tax (including exceptional items)$m2,558.93,477.1(26.4)
Underlying earnings per share(1) (continuing operations excluding exceptional items)cents59.7142.5(58.1)
Earnings per share (continuing operations including exceptional items)cents155.5130.918.8
Dividend per sharecents59.7 142.5(58.1)
Cash flow from continuing operations$m2,738.34,507.7(39.3)
Capital expenditure(3)$m1,879.21,777.55.7
Net debt/(cash) at period end(1)$m885.8(540.5)
Average realised copper price$/lb3.844.37(12.1)
Copper saleskt642.5725.6(11.5)
Gold saleskoz174.7244.7(28.6)
Molybdenum saleskt9.210.4(11.5)
Cash costs before by-product credits(1)$/lb2.191.7922.3
Net cash costs(1)$/lb1.611.234.2

Note: The financial results are unaudited and prepared in accordance with UK-adopted International Accounting Standards, unless otherwise noted below.

(1)     Alternative performance measures as detailed on page 63 of this Full-year results announcement

(2)     Calculated as EBITDA/Revenue. If Associates and JVs revenue is included the EBITDA margin was 46.7% in 2022 and 61.1% in 2021.

(3)     On a cash basis

A copy of the 2022 Full-Year Results presentation is available for download from the Company’s website 

Presentation and Q&A

On behalf of the Company, we invite you to participate in a hybrid meeting hosted by Iván Arriagada – Chief Executive Officer, Mauricio Ortiz – Chief Financial Officer and René Aguilar – Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability which will be open to all investors.

Date                          21 February 2023

Time                          10:30 am (GMT)

Venue                        Church House Westminster, Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3NZ

Online link                 Please join the conference online here

For those investors who are not able to join the conference in-person or by video, you can join by telephone using the dial-in details here. You will be able to hear the presentation, the Q&A and ask questions.

Video and telephone participants will have to register before they can participate in the call so please leave enough time to do this before the call begins.

A transcript of the presentation will be available on the Company’s website later on 21 February.

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