Chief executive Steve Phiri said despite a challenging first six months, the RBPlat team managed to deliver a record first-half performance. Picture: Karen Sandison, ANA.
Chief executive Steve Phiri said despite a challenging first six months, the RBPlat team managed to deliver a record first-half performance. Picture: Karen Sandison, ANA.

RBPlat declares R1.5bn interim dividend

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Aug 4, 2021

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ROYAL Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) yesterday became the latest platinum group metals (PGM) producer to reward shareholders handsomely, after posting record profits and a robust operational performance.

RBPlat, which listed on the JSE a decade ago, declared an interim dividend of 535 cents a share during the half-year to the end of June, equating to R1.5 billion, on the back of strong metal price environment and a strong operational performance.

RBPlat, which operates the Styldrift and the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) in North West, is on a positive trajectory after paying a maiden dividend of R1.5bn in the year to the end of December 2020.

RBPlat declared revenue growth of 108 percent to R9.584bn for the six months, supported by strong PGM basket prices and the growth in the business.

“Although our first-half production was restricted by the slow restart of operations resulting from the Covid-19 second wave and other operational challenges, we increased PGM production by 24.3 percent to 215 700 ounces of 4E,” said RBPlat.

RBPlat said the BRPM contributed 116 100 ounce of 4E production, 16.4 percent higher than a year earlier, while Styldrift’s production increased by 35 percent to 99 600 ounces of 4E.

RBPlat said platinum had contributed 22.2 percent to revenue from operations in the six months, down from 28.1 a year earlier, and rhodium had contributed 65.9 percent, up from 60.6 percent a year earlier.

The group said the basket price per 4E ounce had jumped by 50.1 percent to a whopping R42 600 from R28 388 a year earlier, mainly driven by an increase in palladium and rhodium prices. This was offset by a stronger rand, with the average exchange rate received for the period at R14.01 per dollar, compared to R17.53 per dollar in the previous comparative period.

Chief financial officer Hanre Rossouw said the group capitalised on the strong rhodium price during the period under review.

“Yet again, the top performer in our revenue basket was rhodium, with the average price increasing threefold to $25 388 (R36 5709) an ounce. We capitalised on the strong performance in the rhodium price, and we had a 33 percent increase in rhodium sales, assisted by the increase in the UG2 mix,” Rossouw said.

The group said the first-quarter performance was severely disrupted by the reduced availability of labour during the post-festive break ramp-up, because of increased infection rates and the slow return of foreign national employees because of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Complications related to the re-issuing of work permits to foreign nationals employed by the new volume contractors at BRPM, Eskom load curtailment, adverse weather conditions, and the loss of operating momentum at Styldrift due to a fall-of-ground fatal accident during December 2020, further impacted our first-quarter performance,“’ said the group.

Chief executive Steve Phiri said despite a challenging first six months, the RBPlat team managed to deliver a record first-half performance, which supported further capital returns to shareholders, with a R1.5bn interim dividend and the buy-back of a portion of its R1.2bn convertible bonds.

“Over the last 10 years, we have seen our business grow to operate two world-class mines and concentrators while also securing our full ownership of the business,” Phiri said.

RBPlat’s shares closed 8.52 percent lower at R105.72 on the JSE yesterday.

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BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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