Royal Bafokeng experiences lower output. Picture: Reuters

Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of the metal, said it returned to profit last year after sales increased and the rand depreciated against the dollar.

Earnings per share excluding one-time items will be 4.80 rand ($0.44) to 5.90 rand in the 12 months ended December 31 compared with a loss in 2012, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today.

That exceeds the 4.44-rand median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

The increase “is primarily due to higher sales volumes and a favorable rand-dollar exchange rate,” it said.

“This was partially offset by weaker US dollar metals prices and one-off restructuring costs amounting to 1.5 billion rand.”

Amplats, together with other producers in South Africa, which has the world’s biggest platinum reserves, is bracing for the most severe labor turmoil since 44 people died during a strike at Lonmin Plc in August 2012 as at least 70,000 members of the largest union at platinum operations in South Africa prepare to strike over pay tomorrow. - Bloomberg News