Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 August 2010 – Impala Platinum Holdings Limited “’ the second-largest producer of the metal in the world “’ has reported fiscal full-year profit that fell less than analyst forecasts, as a strike and its worst underground accident were countered by rising prices.
In a results statement issued here, the company said earnings had dropped to R7.85 a share in the year ended 30 June from R10 a year earlier. Earnings excluding one-time items fell 21% to R7.86 a share, beating the median forecast of R7.59 among 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
“Output of platinum and related metals rose 7.6%, even after mining was halted by a strike and an accident that killed nine workers in one of the most difficult years in Impala’s history,” said Impala, “and platinum prices rose by an average 7.9%. CEO David Brown said production at Impala might rise about 8% this fiscal year.
“Impala may boost output at its mine operations to about 940 000 oz this fiscal year from 871 000 oz last year,” Brown said in an interview here.
“Impala is planning R20 billion of projects to help raise output to 2.1 million ounces of platinum a year by 2014, he added “and the company may add to borrowings in two to three years, depending on exchange rates. Impala will present a feasibility study on a proposed project at Afplats to the board in November,” Brown told investors here.
“In Zimbabwe, Impala’s Zimplats Holdings Limited (Zimplats) began its US$450 million (R3.4 billion) Ngezi phase-two expansion project and plans to complete work by June 2014,” the company said in a separate statement. The Zimbabwe unit posted a US$122 million (R915 million) profit for the year through June, compared with a loss of US$25 million (R187.5 million) a year earlier.
Impala may pay a dividend of two-times cover for the 2011 financial year, Brown told analysts, adding that the company would target a ratio closer to 1.4 times cover in following years.