South Africa’s Sasol warned on Tuesday it will report an annual loss after a drop in oil and chemical prices and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic hit earnings.
The world’s top producer of motor fuel from coal said its headline loss per share is expected to be between R8.72 ($0.4949) and R14.86 in the year to June 30, compared with headline earnings of R30.72 per share during the same period a year ago.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is also expected to fall by as much as 37% to between R30 billion to R39.5 billion.
The company said it had recorded impairments in some of its cash generating units after a weakening economy and the fair value impact of starting discussions to find a partner for its US Base Chemicals assets.
Sasol has embarked on a review of its assets and set out to find a partner at its US Base Chemicals operations in an effort to avoid a potential $2 billion rights issue after a slump in the oil price and the impact of the new coronavirus weighed on the company’s ability to pay its debt.
Investors have been concerned by the company’s debt, largely due to delays and cost overruns at its Lake Charles Chemicals project (LCCP) in Louisiana, that forced its former joint-CEOs to resign in a bid to restore shareholder confidence.
Sasol is expected to release its full-year results on August 17.