Impala Platinum said it expected refined platinum output for the year to June 30 to increase by 4%, compared with the same period in 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - Impala Platinum said on Monday it expected refined platinum output for the year to June 30 to increase by four percent to 1,526 kilo ounces (koz) compared with the same period in 2018.

Implats, which will release its results on September 5, said the increase was primarily due to improved performance from Impala Rustenburg and a stock release of platinum compared to a build-up in the comparative period.

Platinum sales volumes for the year are expected to increase by 12 percent to 1,515 koz, it said in a trading statement.

"Sales volumes for the period are higher due to the increase in refined production. Sales volumes in the comparative period were lower than refined metal, primarily due to toll metal of 140 koz returned to a third party customer," Implats said.

Due to an improved rand platinum group metals (PGM) basket price and improved operational performances, the company said it was expecting to report both positive basic and headline earnings per share for the period, compared to the comparative period which reported a basic and headline loss per share of 1,486 cents and 171 cents, respectively.

"This improved operational performance is consistent with positive earnings reported by the group for the half-year ended 31 December 2018," it said.

"This represents a significant improvement in the group performance for the period."

Implats basic earnings in the comparative period were impacted by impairments of R9.7 billion or 1,350 cents per share, after-tax.

- African News Agency (ANA)