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Implats details FY'19 profit forecast amid higher PGM sales, prices

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. on Aug. 15 forecast full-year headline EPS to range between 406 South African cents and 440 cents, compared to a loss of 171 cents per share for the year ended June 30, 2018. Prior-year results included 9.70 billion rand in impairments.

The company, also known as Implats, attributed the guidance to a higher realized rand basket price for its platinum group metal products, a weaker rand, and stronger dollar pricing for rhodium and palladium, with earnings expectations partially offset by a weaker platinum price in dollar terms.

Higher sales volumes and improved operational performance, particularly at the Impala Rustenburg operations where the company had embarked on a strategic overhaul including reducing its workforce, also contributed to the improved earnings forecast. Gross profit for the year is expected to surge to 6.8 billion rand, from 1.1 billion rand in the comparable period, with headline earnings of 2.92 billion rand to 3.16 billion rand, swinging from a loss of 1.23 billion rand in the previous year.

Sales volumes are seen rising 12% for platinum to 1.5 million ounces and 21% for palladium to 929,000 ounces.

Implats said the increase in earnings was partially offset by a noncash expense of 1.56 billion rand, or 217 cents per share, relating to the company's decision in July to make use of its stronger cash flow for an early conversion of its US$250 million 3.25% convertible 2022 bonds.

Implats is expected to release its 2019 financial results Sept. 5.