is now a more focused
2009 was another extraordinary year for the mining industry and one of great change and significant delivery for Anglo American. The early part of the year saw a continuation of the very considerable global economic uncertainty that engulfed the world in late 2008, though I am pleased to report that the decisive measures we put in place to position the Group through the downturn were certainly effective. As the year progressed, varying degrees of confidence returned to the world markets and the prices of many commodities increased steadily in line with demand recovery, continuing to be driven principally by the emerging economies of China and India.
Against what has been an unpredictable economic background, Anglo American delivered a solid operating performance, with operating profit of $5.0 billion and underlying earnings of $2.6 billion, with strong performances across our businesses.
Profit attributable to equity shareholders at $2.4 billion was 55% lower, reflecting our trading performance, and includes the $1.1 billion gain on the disposal of our residual shares in AngloGold Ashanti and the $1.5 billion (after tax and minority interest) impairment of Amapá.
Cash cost reduction in 2009$712 million
Asset optimisation and procurement target to be delivered by 2011 from core operations alone$2 billion