Impala Platinum profit climbs

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Johannesburg - Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. said first-half profit rose 11 percent after the world’s second- largest producer of the metal’s revenue increased and South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar.

Earnings excluding one-time items were 860 million rand ($79 million), or 1.42 rand a share in the six months ended December 31, compared with 776 million rand, or 1.28 rand, a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today.

The median of three estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for profit of 1.80 rand a share. Impala’s board decided not to declare a dividend.

Revenue rose 9.5 percent as “lower platinum dollar prices were offset by a weaker exchange rate,” the company said in a separate e-mailed statement.

Implats reports earnings in rand, the currency that’s depreciated 22 percent since the beginning of last year against the dollar, in which platinum is priced.

Gross refined platinum-group metal output for the six months declined to 1.55 million ounces, from 1.77 million ounces a year earlier.

Gross refined platinum production was 786,000 ounces down from 865,000 ounces a year earlier.

The average spot price for the metal was $1,425.01 an ounce in the second half of last year, 7.9 percent less than the mean in the last six months of 2012.

The company, together with other producers in South Africa, which accounts for the most global output, is today entering the sixth week of a crippling strike as at least 70,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, the largest labor group at platinum operations in the nation, walked out over pay on January 23. - Bloomberg News

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