South Africa’s Amplats reports 43% drop in half-year profit

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South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum (Amplats)  on Monday reported a 43% fall in half-year profit due to weaker platinum group metal (PGM) prices and lower volumes compared with record sales a year ago.

Amplats’ headline earnings per share (HEPS) – the main profit measure in South Africa – fell to R101.4 ($6.02) for the half year that ended June 30, from R176.47 a year ago.

Amplats Chief Executive Officer Natascha Viljoen said inflationary pressures and tightening monetary policy would continue to have an impact on the mining industry.

Amplats maintained its guidance for 2022 unit cost of production at between 14,000 and 15,000 rand per PGM ounce,based on an oil price of around $100 per barrel. That would represent a year-on-year cost increase of between 9.1% and16.9%.

Capital expenditure guidance for the full year was reduced to 16 billion and 17.5 billion rand.

PGM prices have come off historical highs seen during early2021 as the global economy recovered from pandemic-related disruptions, but Amplats said the basket price in the first half of 2022 is the second-highest average price on record, showing strong underlying market fundamentals despite the price volatility.

Amplats, the world’s biggest PGM producer, ended 2020 with a backlog of around one million ounces of PGM as it rebuilt and recommissioned its converter plant. Most of this inventory was refined and sold during 2021, resulting in higher-than-normal sales and earnings.
The company declared an interim dividend of 81 rand per share, compared to 175 rand per share last year.