Sasol said it had benefited from higher Brent crude oil and product prices as well as a weaker average rand exchange rate against major currencies. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

​JOHANNESBURG - Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol said on Thursday it had benefited from higher Brent crude oil and product prices as well as a weaker average rand exchange rate against major currencies during the quarter ended September.

Sasol said it had seen higher productivity across most of our operations with an increased focus on safety, margins and cost control.

The company's mining operations were building momentum with increased productivity over the quarter and had fully restored stock piles to above target levels.

"External purchases have been significantly reduced and current indications are that mining will achieve the targeted production levels of 40 million tons for the full year," said Sasol.

At its Mozambican upstream operations, the company said it expected to achieve its production target of 114 – 118 bscf (billions of standard cubic feet of gas) for FY19.

Sasol said a planned full shutdown at its Secunda operations West factory had been longer than estimated mainly due to technical issues, impacting production and sales volumes across the value chain.

" The longer shutdown will result in annual production guidance reducing to 7.5 – 7.6 million tons," it said. "We are however confident that we will achieve our planned production targets for the remainder of the year."

Sasol said it had overall delivered a solid performance for the first quarter, except for the Secunda extended shutdown.

"Our operations are stable and delivering according to plan and we are taking advantage of all opportunities to maximise margins," it said. "At this point, all indications are that we will meet our revised production and sales targets for the year."

- African News Agency (ANA)