First-half profit at Impala Platinum (Implats) probably fell as much as 79 percent because of a drop in output, rising costs and a write-down, the second-biggest platinum producer said yesterday. Headline earnings a share probably came in between R1.20 and R1.38 in the six months to December, compared with R5.73 a year earlier, Implats said. The median estimate of three analysts was for R1.57. Implats took a write-down of R603 million on long-term receivables. Local platinum and gold producers have been plagued by upheaval since August last year, when workers staged a series of wildcat strikes, winning pay increases of up to 22 percent. Eskom is seeking 16 percent annual tariff increases until 2018. Implats shares fell as much as 3.9 percent and closed 1.01 percent down at R163.50. – Bloomberg