Headquarters of
Anglo American
Platinum Limited
“’ biggest loser on
the JSE’s Top 40
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 January 2012 – Anglo American plc platinum unit Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amsa) “’ the world’s largest producer of the metal “’ was the biggest loser among the 40 largest companies trading on Johannesburg’s bourse, after posting an unexpected retreat in full-year profit.

Amsa said earnings excluding one-time items probably fell as much as 34% to R12.77 a share from R19.35 a year earlier, compared with the median estimate for adjusted earnings of R23.77 by 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The stock slumped as much as 5.3%, the most since 5 September 2011, to R538 and traded 4% down at R545.15 by midday yesterday “’ the biggest retreat among the companies in the FTSE/JSE Africa Top40 Index.

The decrease “is primarily as a result of the impact of the one-off accounting charge for the broad-based community development transaction” of R1.07 billion, the company said in a statement here. The “high number of safety stoppages resulting in lower production, as well as high industry cost inflation, particularly for labour and electricity,” also eroded profit, it added.

Basic earnings per share will be 60 to 70% lower than the R39.09 of a year earlier, Amplats said, adding that it will release full statements on or about 13 February.

The announcement “disappoints,” said SBG Securities Limited in a note.

“Amplats has struggled to contain costs over the last eight years,” HSBC Holdings plc, which has a “neutral” rating on the stock, said recently. “In that time, its per-unit costs moved from being on a par with rival Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (IMP) to being 28% higher in 2010.”

The company lost 35% in Johannesburg trading in the past five years, compared with Impala’s 9.1% decline.

In July, CEO Neville Nicolau maintained his target of refining and selling 2.6 Moz for the year, even after eight deaths in the first half led to mine stoppages and curbed a planned surge in output. Production in the first half rose 17% to 1.17Moz at Amplats.