Anglo American Platinum (JSE:EMS) revealed its financial results on Monday following another “strong” financial and operational performance. The company has raised its dividend following the sharp growth in annual earnings and cash last year.

Dividend pay-out ratio increased from 30% to 40% of headline earnings. This is a result of the company’s “strong” balance sheet and the management’s confidence in its underlying cash-generating capability.

Earnings (EBITDA) grew 21% to R14.5 billion over the financial year. Moreover, Anglo American Platinum saw a record production from Mogalakwena, Unki and Kroondal, contributing to a 4% increase in total production.

Free cash flow from operations grew 60% to R5.6 billion.

Net cash was reported as R2.9 billion.

Looking ahead, the company has said that is is “well positioned” to deliver its next phase of value, remaining in line with a clear strategy.

The company has also announced the tragic death of two colleagues. It has, however, reported a 34% improvement in its injury rates.

Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith commented on the results:

“The fact that two of our colleagues died at work in 2018 is deeply tragic and felt by every one of us. Notwithstanding the significant improvement in the number of fatalities and injury rates, these tragic deaths have heightened our resolve and efforts to eliminate fatalities.”

“Operationally and financially, we had a very strong year. Record production performances from Mogalakwena, Unki and Kroondal saw total platinum group metal production increasing by 4%. We increased our free cash flow by 60% and reduced net debt by R4.7 billion turning to a net cash position of R2.9bn at the end of 2018. I am pleased to report that, given this performance and the improving market outlook for PGMs, Anglo American Platinum was the best-performing share on the JSE All Share Index in 2018 delivering a total shareholder return of 55%.”

“Whilst the platinum price remained subdued, the price of our basket of metals increased by 13%, with our diversified PGM proposition delivering significant value for shareholders.”

Earlier in January, Anglo American’s annual output increased 7%. Additionally, it reported strong production figures last July across both copper and platinum. Its shares remained strong in July despite its Glencore controversy.

At 10:37 GMT+2 Monday, shares in Anglo American Platinum Ltd (JSE:AMS) were trading at +0.43%.