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Sasol upbeat after profit spike

Sep 10 2012 08:19
Reuters

Johannesburg - Petrochemicals group Sasol [JSE:SOL] posted a 25% rise in full-year earnings on Monday, boosted by higher crude oil prices and a weaker rand, and said it expected better operational performance in the current year.

Sasol, the world's top maker of motor fuel from coal, said headline earnings per share rose 25% to R42.28, in line with Sasol’s own guidance of a jump of between 20% - 30% given in August.

Its earnings were helped by a 17% rise in the average crude oil price, higher prices for its products as well as an 11% weaker rand/dollar exchange rate.

A weaker rand is positive for South African exporters as it lifts profits when overseas earnings are brought home.

Full-year turnover rose to R169.4bn from R142.4bn a year ago.      

Output of synthetic fuels was 7.2 million tonnes and the company said it expected production at that unit to improve to between 7.2 and 7.4 million tonnes in the current year.   

Sasol said it expects crude oil and product prices to remain volatile in the near term, while the rand will remain one of the biggest external factors impacting its profitability.

“We remain on track to deliver on our expectations for improved operational performance,” it added.

The company declared a final gross cash dividend of R11.80 per ordinary share, up from R9.9 the previous year.

The stock is down nearly 3% so far this year, compared with a 10.8% rise in the JSE Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200] blue-chip index.


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