Energy and chemical company Sasol said it expected its underlying cash flow performance and earnings for the half year to December to be stronger. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Energy and chemical company Sasol said on Wednesday it expected its underlying cash flow performance and earnings for the half year to December to be stronger than last year, with headline earnings per share likely to be 12 - 29 percent higher.

"Sasol is expected to deliver a solid set of results, underpinned by higher Brent crude oil and product prices, a weaker average rand exchange rate, a satisfactory performance of its global assets and much lower remeasurement items," the company said in a trading statement.

It said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were expected to increase by between 10 and 30 percent, largely driven by stronger macroeconomics.

Sasol is due to release its audited results for the six months ending December 31 on February 25.

Headline EPS is the primary profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

Sasol, which pioneered the conversion of coal and gas to fuel when South Africa was subject to sanctions under apartheid, sells fuel at the same regulated price as companies that import and refine crude oil.

Although oil prices have fallen from their peak since 2014, they remain at historically elevated levels while the local currency has been under pressure due on worries about the slow economic growth.

- African News Agency (ANA) / REUTERS