(Reuters) – UK-based miner Anglo American <AAL.L> said on Thursday it was raising its dividend payout by 27% as it reported a 19% jump in core earnings in the first half of the year and said it intends to buy back up to $1 billion (£801 million) of stock.
The company also said that three employees had lost their lives in “workplace safety incidents” in the first half of the year and that two more incidents in Chile in late June and early July led to the loss of ten lives, which is being “urgently” investigated.
“Our determination to reach and sustain zero harm is our most pressing challenge. No degree of financial performance is worth a life,” Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said in a statement.
Anglo’s underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to $5.45 billion in the six months ended June 30, from $4.56 billion a year earlier.
The miner increased its interim dividend payment to $0.62 from $0.49, a year earlier.
(This story corrects paragraph 4 to say EBITDA was for the half year, not quarter)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru)