South Africa's Impala Platinum annual earnings soar nearly 400%

JOHANNESBURG- South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd on Thursday reported a nearly 400% jump in annual earnings boosted by higher metal prices and a weaker rand currency, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on output. The platinum miner posted headline earnings per share for the year ended June of 20.75 rand, 391% higher than 4.23 rand reported a…

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) on Thursday reported a nearly 400% jump in annual earnings boosted by higher metal prices and a weaker rand currency, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on output.

The platinum miner posted headline earnings per share for the year ended June of 20.75 rand ($1.23), 391% higher than 4.23 rand reported a year earlier.

“The progress made in the strategic repositioning of Implats over the past several years enabled the Group to successfully navigate the challenges created by the unprecedented external shock of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Implats CEO Nico Muller.

Implats, which resumed dividend payments this year, declared a final dividend of 4.00 rand per ordinary share, bringing the total dividend to 5.25 rand per share.

Revenue during the period rose 44% to 69.9 billion rand with higher dollar metal prices and a weaker rand offsetting lower sales volumes.

Higher platinum group metals prices (PGM) have boosted profits of miners in South Africa, the world’s top producer of the metal, and helped offset the impact of coronavirus-led restrictions and a lockdown that temporarily shut operations.

The company said the virus outbreak had significantly impacted operations and resulted in losses of 290,000 ounces of output.

South Africa had forced underground miners to temporarily halt production when the government implemented a lockdown in March, although restrictions on miners were later eased to allow normal operations.

During the year, free cash flow increased to 14.4 billion rand compared with 7.7 billion rand a year ago.

($1 = 16.8449 rand)

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Amy Caren Daniel)

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