A night shot of
Aquarius Kroondal
operation in South
Africa
 
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 August 2008 – Aquarius Platinum – a focused platinum group metals producer in southern Africa – has had an impressive year to 30 June 2008 with significant increases in revenue and profit, as higher commodity prices offset lower production.

Publishing its fiscal 2008 results here, the company reported a 26% rise in full-year net profit to US$236 million (almost R1.8 billion) in the twelve months to 30 June 2008. Net profit had been US$267 million (just over R2 billion) before an attributable once-off tax payment of US$31 million (R230 million), which represented part consideration of the re-purchase of the Impala Platinum shareholding in Aquarius.

The results statement revealed that revenue for the year had increased by 30% to US$919 million (R6.9 billion). Net mine operating cash flow was up 29% from US$391 (R2.9 billion) to $505 million (R3.8 billion), and group cash balances stood at US$171 million almost R1.3 billion). The full year dividend was up 43% to US 20 cents per share.

Mine production at Johannesburg, Sydney and London-listed Aquarius – whose operations are in South Africa – has been hampered by industrial relations problems and power outages. “As a result, ,” said the Aquarius statement, “attributable group production amounted to 500 203 platinum group metal (PGM) ounces for the year – lower than an April forecast of as much as 530 000 ounces, and a 6% decrease from the 530 726 ounces produced last year.”

But it added that average PGM prices had risen 36 % to $1,887/oz during the year, compensating for the lower production and the one-off tax charge of $31 million 230 million).

Commenting on the full year results, Aquarius CEO Stuart Murray said: “Despite a challenging year, I believe that Aquarius is on a strong footing to recover from the production set-backs of 2008 and pick up again with the march for value-driven growth in the new financial year. Further, I believe that opportunities in the platinum sector have never been more interesting, even if operating remains challenging.”