Amplats warns of profit slide on lower metal prices and power crisis

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Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) expects half-year profit to slump as much as 75%, hit by weaker metal prices and the impact on production from power shortages in South Africa, the company said on Monday.

The world’s top producer of platinum group metals (PGM), which are used mostly by automakers, forecast a drop in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to between R25.44 and R35.69 ($1.41-$1.98) in the six months to June 30, down from R101.40 a year earlier.

Prices of rhodium and palladium, key PGMs in Amplats’ basket of metals, declined by 47% and 29% respectively compared with the first half of 2022, the company said.

The electricity crisis in South Africa, where state-owned utility Eskom’s ageing coal-fired plants are struggling to generate sufficient power, has also affected operations at Amplats and its rivals.

The company said it deferred production of 66 400 ounces of metal, equivalent to nearly 2% of the miner’s total 2022 PGM output, in the first half of the year owing to the power crisis.

Rival Sibanye Stillwater has warned that South Africa – the world’s biggest PGM producer – faces an up 20% drop in output as a result of the power crisis, tightening global supplies at a time when No.2 producer Russia has been hit by sanctions-related operational problems after its invasion of Ukraine.

Amplats will release half-year results on July 24.

($1 = 18.0222 rand)