The ANSA McAL Group of companies increased its cash position by more than $1 billion last year.

According to ANSA McAL’s audited financial results, its cash and cash equivalents at the end of 31 December 2020 was $2.8 billion.

The cash and cash equivalents at the start of the year was $1.8 billion.

“Although our profits are less than they were the year before, our cash reserves have grown significantly and this augers well for future growth and possible acquisitions,” Group chairman A. Norman Sabga said at the ANSA McAL Stockbrokers’ meeting which was held via Microsoft Teams yesterday.

“The cash flow and financial position is certainly quite an interesting one where we were able to, with very diligent cash management notwithstanding supply chain disruptions, we have worked through our inventory and receivable and expense management and were able to create a substantive net cash increase of $1 billion in cash and cash equivalents in the period. It is certainly an interesting and important result,” Group Chief Executive Officer Anthony N Sabga III said.

ANSA McAL recorded a profit of $503.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.

In 2019 ANSA McAL made a profit of $776.3 million.

Sabga III said ANSA McAL recorded some “formidable” results considering the context of what was 2020 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were able to maintain profitability for each quarter during the full year 2020,” Sabga III said.

Sabga III said the operating profit of $752 million was certainly a “major decline” compared to 2019.

In 2019 ANSA McAL’s operating profit was $1.07 billion.

Sabga III said an important aspect of the financial year was the fact that none of ANSA McAL’s employees lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

“There is certainly quite a lot for us to be spirited about and to feel great about notwithstanding the global context that we faced,” Sabga III said.

“We gave a commitment and we actually stood by the commitment and we preserved every job and we took very seriously the protection of the health and well-being and safety of our employees across the region,” he said.

Sabga III said the conglomerate remains committed to investing in COVID-19 vaccines to help the region with the support of the government.

Chairman Sabga stated that while the Group’s results were “inescapably impacted by the pandemic” the performance demonstrated resilience.

The Group’s long term financial position was strengthened with the gearing ratio as measured by the total interest-bearing debt to shareholders’ equity being reduced to 9.8 per cent from 10.3 per cent.

ANSA McAL declared a final dividend of $1.50 per share.

“We are indeed proud of how we prevailed through this debilitating global pandemic and how we have reaffirmed our Group as a resilient and socially responsible conglomerate, ideally positioned for recovery and a bright future,” the Chairman stated.