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Glencore’s hot seat proved to be more of a warm embrace for its new, SA-born CEO Gary Nagle on Thursday when he presented a strong set of results on the back of roaring commodity prices, which spurred the resources group’s interim earnings to record highs and saw shareholders rewarded with $2.8bn in returns.

For the half-year ended in June, Glencore posted a record $8.7bn in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda), marking a 79% increase from $4.8bn in the first half of 2020. Cash generation was also strong, with funds from operations almost doubling to $7.3bn. Strong free cash flows allowed the company to deleverage its balance sheet quicker than expected, with net debt dropping from $15.8bn in December to $10.6bn at the end of June, which is at the bottom end of the group’s debt target range...

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