Implats to post staggering R12bn to R13bn leap in full-year headline earnings

Impala Platinum CEO, Nico Muller

IMPALA Platinum (Implats) said it expected to post a major improvement in annual headline earnings as production came in at the high-end of guidance amid strong dollar and rand-based pricing for platinum group metals (PGMs).

Commenting in a trading statement on Thursday, headline earnings would be R15.6bn and R16.2bn, equal to headline share earnings of 2,007 to 2,084 cents per share.

This represents an increase of between 413% and 433% for headline earnings and an increase of between 374% and 393% for headline share earnings. Headline earnings and share earnings last year were R3bn and 423 cents respectively.

Implats is scheduled to publish its numbers on September 3.

“Group operations have delivered production volumes at the top-end of the guided range provided to the market on 24 June 2020, despite the impact of Covid-19,” it said.

Implats was assisted by the fact that it was able to work through above ground stockpiles at a time when mining operations were reduced or shut in South Africa during the hard lockdown imposed by government for five weeks from March to April. Lockdown regulations were slowly eased after April.

The company said in a fourth quarter production update in July that it had processed the balance of its 350,000 ounces PGM inventory.

Implats said refined production for the year was revised to between 2.77 to 2.8 million oz compared to previous guidance of 2.6 to 2.9 million oz. Actual refined production in Implats’ 2019 financial year totalled 3.01 million oz.

Concentrate production from Implats’ Rustenburg mine would be 1.06 to 1.12 million oz as per revised guidance compared to 975,000 to 1.05 million oz in previous guidance and actual 2019 financial year concentrate production from Rustenburg of 1.29 million oz.