Impala Platinum posts 41% rise in earnings, reinstates dividend
CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) posted a 41% rise in half-yearly earnings on Thursday and reinstated dividends after higher metals prices boosted profits.
The platinum miner reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 436 cents for the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with 310 cents a year earlier. HEPS strips out certain one-off items and is the main profit measure in South Africa.
“Sustained operating performances from mining operations, together with robust rand PGM (platinum group of metals) pricing, offset short-term challenges associated with concentrator maintenance and constrained smelter availability, resulting in improved free cash flow and strong headline earnings,” Implats said.
Prices of palladium and rhodium, widely used in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful emissions, have climbed as tighter environmental regulations force carmakers to buy more of the precious metals used in catalytic converters.
This has boosted profits at miners such as Implats, Sibanye-Stillwater and Anglo American Platinum after several years of losses.
Implats said its improved cash position enabled it to fund the acquisition of Impala Canada through a combination of cash, a forward sale of metal and debt.
The company completed the 10.9 billion rand acquisition of North American Palladium, marking its first purchase outside of Africa, and bringing its net debt to 1.9 billion rand by the end of Dec. 31.
Implats, which has not paid a dividend since 2013, declared an interim dividend of 1.25 rand per ordinary share.