27 July 2011
At the shareholders Annual General Meeting in London today, Anil Agarwal, Chairman, will make the following remarks.
Your company continues to focus on growth, long-term value and sustainability, and has delivered strong results during the financial year (FY) 2010-11, with EBITDA 55% higher at US$ 3.6bn. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our 31,000 employees, who have contributed to our strong performance.
We maintained our progressive dividend policy, increasing the dividend by 17% to 52.5 US cents a share. Since our IPO in 2003, we have returned US$ 1.2 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buy-backs.
Nearly 70% of our US$ 19 billion organic growth investment plan has been spent, driving higher profits and cash flows as projects ramp-up. We commissioned the silver-rich Sindesar Khurd mine during the year and target a capacity of 16 million ounces of silver by the end of FY2011-12, which will make us one of the world's largest silver producers. We synchronized two 600 MW units, a first in the Indian private sector, at our 2,400 MW Jharsuguda power plant. Vedanta's capacity is poised to grow 95% in copper-equivalent terms over the next two years. Exploration remains a key to long term value creation, and we have successfully increased mine-life at the Zinc-India, Iron Ore and Copper-Zambia businesses.
We announced two strategic acquisitions during the year. Vedanta completed the acquisition of the zinc assets of Anglo American plc in Ireland, Namibia and South Africa in February 2011, consolidating our position as the world's largest zinc-lead producer. In August 2010, Vedanta announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Cairn India Ltd. (CIL), one of India's largest oil producers. With production ramping-up, an experienced management team, and further upside from 7 exploration blocks, this acquisition reinforces our position as a leading diversified natural resources major. At present, Vedanta has acquired a 28.5% stake in CIL and will acquire a further 30% stake, making a total of 58.5% for a consideration of US$8.7 billion.
Vedanta has enhanced its focus on sustainability management and reporting through multiple initiatives and remains committed to collaborating with people in local communities, improving local infrastructure, caring for the health and safety of our people, and minimising our impact on air, water and land at 53 operations in 4 continents.
During FY2010-11, the Board evolved the HSE committee into the Sustainability Committee with a broader mandate to steer sustainability performance. We also engaged the international consulting firm, Scott Wilson, to review our sustainability practices and are implementing their recommendations, and we appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer. Since we last met, our community programs have positively impacted the lives of 2.7 million people in 552 villages near our operations; and we saw a 28% fall in our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) at our operations as we continued to work towards a safer, more secure and healthier environment. However, I deeply regret the fatalities that occurred during this year, and take this opportunity to extend my sincerest condolences and sympathies to their families. Safety is a key focus area for Vedanta, and I would like to assure you that we are intensifying our efforts to keep people from harm. We remain committed to transparent reporting and have released a Sustainable Development Report in line with Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
Despite macro-economic concerns, commodity prices and demand-supply trends have remained favourable, driven by emerging-market growth and underpinning a long-term positive outlook. We look forward to your continued partnership as shareholders as we sustainably drive value creation through our structurally low-cost operations, strategic acquisitions and industry-leading organic growth programme.
For further information, please contact:
Senior Vice President - Investor Relations
Vedanta Resources plc
Tel: +44 20 7659 4732 / +91 22 6646 1531
Tel: +44 20 7251 3801
About Vedanta Resources plc
Vedanta Resources plc ("Vedanta") is a London listed FTSE 100 diversified metals and mining major. The group produces aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, silver, iron ore and commercial energy. Vedanta has operations in India, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Ireland and Australia and a strong organic growth pipeline of projects. With an empowered talent pool of 31,000 employees globally, Vedanta places strong emphasis on partnering with all its stakeholders based on the core values of entrepreneurship, excellence, trust, inclusiveness and growth. For more information, please visit:
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "should" or "will." Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, uncertainties arise from the behaviour of financial and metals markets including the London Metal Exchange, fluctuations in interest and or exchange rates and metal prices; from future integration of acquired businesses; and from numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business, competitive or regulatory nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different that those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.