Implats rallies on return to profitability


Implats rallies on return to profitability

Published Date: 2019-02-05 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Implats rallies on return to profitability

The platinum producer benefited from better prices and higher production due to an improved operational performance and the release of an inventory build-up.

Impala Platinum expects to report bumper first-half earnings due to a better performance from its Rustenburg mines and after it released about 44,000 ounces of platinum inventory that was tied up. It said it also benefitted from a better rand-platinum price for its metal. It's shares rallied as much as 12%.

In a trading statement, Implats said refined platinum production for the six months to end-December was expected to increase by 10% to 800,000 ounces. During the comparative period, refined production was impacted by an inventory build-up following furnace maintenance undertaken during the period.

Platinum sales volumes are expected to increase by 19% to 773,000 ounces from 649,000 once. Previously, volumes were lower than refined metal, primarily due to toll metal of 116,000 ounces that was returned to a third party.

The group said it expected to report headline earnings of at least R2.1 billion for the period, up from a R150 million loss a year earlier. Headline earnings per share would come in at least at 292c per share from a 21c per share headline loss. Basic earnings would rise to a similar level, it said.

In November, it said it was proceeding with a restructuring of its operations to eliminate high-cost production. At the time, it said it was in talks to sell its 1 Shaft operation at Rustenburg and had entered a Section 189 restructuring process for 1 500 workers. The shaft is scheduled to be put on care and maintenance in April.

It said it would provide more specific guidance closer to the release of its interim financial results. Its shares closed 7.9% up at R41.82.

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