Johannesburg - South Africa's Impala Platinum's full-year earnings fell by around half as a tough labour environment and depressed prices bit into earnings, the company said on Thursday.
Implats, the world's second-largest producer of the precious metal, said headline earnings per share fell to 330 cents in the year to end-June from 685 cents a year earlier, a drop of 52 percent.
This was just above the 322 cents estimate by Thomson Reuters StarMine. Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, excludes certain on-time items.
“The platinum industry is facing extremely tough times with static platinum group metal basket prices, low productivity, cost pressures and industrial relations challenges,” Implats said.
Productivity has been constrained by on-going tensions between rival unions whose turf war for members triggered a crippling illegal strike 18 months ago at Implats' key Rustenburg operations, which are still recovering.
Implats was also hit by R2.3-billion in writedowns during the financial year, including a R1-billion reduction in the value of African Platinum, which it acquired in 2007.
It is the first major platinum producer to write down the value of its assets after a steep fall in platinum prices during the first half of 2013. - Reuters