Lonmin swings to profit in first half

[miningmx.com] — Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, on Monday reported an about turn in half year profits by posting first half earnings per share of 15.5 US cents, compared to a first half loss per share of 67.9 US cents for the first half of the previous year.

The company’s first half operating profit came in at $65m for the six
months to end March 2010 versus a first half loss of $142m for the six
months to end March 2009.

Revenue grew to $661m from $436m in the previous first half period while underlying earnings per share were 22.8 US cents, against an underlying
loss per share of 47.9 US cents.

Production from underground operations at Marikana were in line with prior year
period with good improvements in underground concentrator recoveries and grade,
compared to the prior year period.

<>Looking forward, the company said capital expenditure is expected to be in line
with guidance of up to $270m and is predominantly focused on mine development.

The company’s net debt increased to $250m in the first half, giving the
company gearing of 7%. But it said net debt expected to reduce in the second half
of its 2010 financial year.

“We are seeing steady quarter on quarter improvements in operational stability
and productivity, supported by the delivery of efficiency initiatives throughout the
business,” said Lonmin chief executive Ian Farmer.