HomeBase MetalsARM publishes trading statement

ARM publishes trading statement

A night shot of ARM’s
Nkomati Nickel Mine
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 February, 2008 – African Rainbow Minerals Limited (ARM) – a niche, diversified South African mining company with excellent long-life, low-cost operating assets in key commodities – has published a trading statement relating to the imminent announcement of its financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2007.

ARM owns ferrous and base metals, platinum and coal operations, and holds a significant interest in the gold mining sector through its shareholding in Harmony. Company subsidiary TEAL houses ARM’s non-South African exploration portfolio.

In terms of the JSE’s listings requirements, a listed company is required to publish a trading statement as soon as it is satisfied that a reasonable degree of certainty exists that the financial results for the period to be reported on next will differ by at least 20% from those of the previous corresponding period.

The ARM trading statement published here late yesterday says results for the six months ended 31 December 2007 have been positively impacted by sales volume increases relating to manganese ore and ferromanganese alloy, iron ore and chrome ore. “The results have also been impacted by strong increases in US dollar, PGM, thermal coal and ferrous metal prices,” it adds.

“These positive impacts have been offset by planned lower nickel production from the Nkomati Mine as it moves from an underground to opencast operation,” says the statement. “Results have also been impacted by lower nickel prices, lower than planned production at the platinum mines, and increased exploration expenditure in Africa through TEAL.”

In light of the above, ARM announces that it expects headline earnings per share to increase for the six months ended 31 December 2007 to between 330 and 370 cents per share (headline earnings for the comparable period in 2006 were 264 cents per share). This represents an increase of between 25 and 40%.

Basic earnings have been further impacted by the R135 million gain on the receipt of the final tranche payment on the sale of 50% of Nkomati Nickel to Norilsk Nickel. Basic earnings are expected to increase to between 400 and 430 cents per share (previously 264 cents per share).

The company’s interim results will be released on Wednesday 20 February, 2008.