Tuesday, July 31st, 2007
Anglo Platinum is pleased to announce a substantial improvement in headline earnings for the half-year ended 30 June 2007. Headline earnings per share, attributable to ordinary shareholders, increased by 47% to R29,43. The increase was primarily the result of higher US dollar prices of metals sold and a weaker rand / US dollar exchange rate. An interim dividend of R29,00 per ordinary share has been declared.
Commenting on these results, CEO Ralph Havenstein said “The record half year earnings reflect continued strong demand and record metal prices. Increasing competition for labour in South Africa and a deterioration in safety performance at our Rustenburg mine reduced our operating efficiency during 2007 resulting in lower than expected growth in production from operations and higher operating costs. Our focus remains on achieving a step change improvement in employee safety and improving operating efficiencies at the Group’s mines.”
Platinum production from mining operations increased by 1,3% to 1,274 million ounces in the first half of 2007 while refined platinum production reduced to 1,194 million ounces as a result of an increase in process pipeline stock associated with a re-build of slag re-treatment facilities. Refined platinum sales for the half-year ended 30 June 2007 amounted to 1,212 million ounces. As a result of reduced labour efficiency and the implementation of a new approach to employee safety, refined platinum production of between 2,6 and 2,65 million ounces is expected in 2007.
“It is pleasing that in 2007 our board approved new capital expenditure to the value of R6,2 billion in continued support of maintaining existing and developing additional production capacity. The board approvals included R1,9 billion to increase base metal refining capacity to 33 000 tons of Nickel per annum by 2010 and the R1,7 billion Lebowa Middelpunt Hill UG2 project to add 93 000 refined platinum ounces per annum by 2012.” said Ralph. “Despite the challenges encountered in 2007 our planned average annual growth target of 5% remains in place”, he added.
Anglo Platinum is committed to increasing production in line with growth in global demand. In light of continuing growth in autocatalyst and industrial demand and the resilience of the jewellery market at higher prices, average growth in production of around 5% per annum can be expected.
Anglo Platinum is fully committed to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (“the Act”) and the mining charter and to achieving the associated sustainable economic transformation. Anglo Platinum expects to make significant progress in 2007 to further enhance empowerment within the Group to fully embrace the transformation envisaged by the Act and mining charter and to obtain the associated conversion of rights.
Anglo Platinum advises shareholders that Ralph Havenstein has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer of Anglo Platinum effective 31 August 2007. Duncan Wanblad (Director of Projects and Engineering) and Norman Mbazima (Finance Director) will be appointed joint acting CEOs for operational and commercial activities respectively, from 31 August 2007.
Upon completion of a search process to appoint a new CEO an announcement will be made.