Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Global integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol said on Monday its headline earnings per share dropped 22 percent to R27.44 in the year to June 30.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization rose 10 percent to R52 billion and the company declared a dividend per share of R12.90.

Sasol said its resilient 2018 performance was underpinned by higher sales and production volumes in the second half of the year, partly enabled by higher global oil prices which contributed towards improved product prices and margins, notwithstanding continued exchange rate volatility.

Overall, its operational performance was satisfactory, although unplanned electricity supply interruptions by power utility Eskom and two internal outages at  Secunda Synfuels Operations negatively impacted volumes.

Sasol said 2019 would be a defining year with the start-up of the Lake Charles Chemicals Project, a catalyst for transforming its earnings profile.

Mozambique, its other key growth area, remained central to the company's gas strategy where it was stepping up efforts to secure long-term gas feedstock.

"The current economic climate continues to remain highly volatile and uncertain," the company said.

"While oil price and foreign exchange movements are outside our control and may impact our results, our focus remains firmly on managing factors within our control, including volume growth, cost optimisation, effective capital allocation, focused financial risk management and maintaining an investment grade credit rating."

- African News Agency (ANA)