UPDATE 2-S.Africa's Amplats expects to hit profitability target within 3 yrs
* Amplats expects to complete review by end of first half
* Asset sale, Mogalakwena should help it hit ROCE target
* Expects 22 pct rise in production in year to end Dec (Recasts with CEO comments, ROCE target)
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng and Silvia Antonioli
JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum expects to hit a profitability target set by its parent company within three years, the company's boss said, as the world's top platinum producer reported a 46 percent plunge in annual profit.
The Anglo American subsidiary is in the middle of a shake up that includes selling off underperforming assets as it struggles to recover from a five-month long strike last year. Amplats Chief Executive Chris Griffith also said the miner would return to pre-strike output levels this year.
The company hopes to complete the review and decide whether to sell or list its Union and Rustenburg mines by the end of the first half this year, after evaluating offers for the assets from two shortlists of companies.
Amplats says the sale, and focus switch to its more modern mine Mogalakwena, should help it to achieve a target set by Anglo American Chief Executive Mark Cutifani for the group to hit an average return on capital employed (ROCE) of at least 15 percent.
Amplats has been lagging way behind this level, also due to industrial action and low prices of platinum. ROCE is a financial ratio that measures a company's profitability and the efficiency with which its capital is employed. Continuación...