Amplats earnings soar 95 percent in year to December

Harare – Anglo American Platinum, parent of local unit Unki Platinum reported a 95 percent surge in headline earnings per share to 28.93 cents in the year to December.

Net sales revenue for the year increased to R74.6 billion compared to R65.7 billion in 2017, while operating profit grew to R10.8 billion from R6.6 billion last year.

Chief executive Chris Griffith said record production performances from Unki, Mogalakwena and Kroondal saw total platinum group metal (PGM) production increasing by 4 percent.

In a production update, Unki Platinum said it recorded a 15 percent production increase to 85 900 ounces in the full year to December 2018 up from 74 600 ounces recorded in prior year driven by an improvement in operational efficiencies.

It said quarter on quarter production was down 2 percent to 22 000 ounces from the 22 400 ounces recorded in the third quarter.

“Unki platinum production increased by 34 percent to 22 000 ounces and palladium production increased by 38 percent to 19 600 ounces due to a strong operational performance with a 20 percent increase in tonnes milled, 10 percent improvement in recovery and 3 percent improvement in built-up head grade,” Unki said.

Commenting on the results Griffith said operationally and financially, the Group had a very strong year.

“Record production performances from Mogalakwena, Unki and Kroondal saw total platinum group metal production increasing by 4 percent. We increased our free cash flow by 60 percent and reduced net debt by R4.7 billion turning to a net cash position of R2.9bn at the end of 2018.

“I am pleased to report that, given this performance and the improving market outlook for PGMs, Anglo American Platinum was the best-performing share on the JSE All Share Index in 2018 delivering a total shareholder return of 55 percent.

In the period under review, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation grew 21 percent to R14.5 billion and Amplats declared a final dividend of R2 billion or R7.51 per share, resulting in a total dividend for the year of R11.25 per share.

While the platinum price remained subdued, the price of the company’s basket of metals increased by 13 percent, with its diversified PGM proposition delivering significant value for shareholders.

Meanwhile, Unki reported that company’s $62 million platinum processing plant which begun in 2016 is now complete and is envisaged to be commissioned this year.

Previously, all three platinum miners which operate in Zimbabwe-Unki, the Impala Platinum owned Zimplats and Mimosa mine, a joint venture between Sibanye Gold and Impala, would send their mate for refining in South Africa.

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