South Africa: Platinum Profits - Amplats Posts Record Interim Results to the Cheer of Shareholders and Treasury

analysis

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) unveiled record interim results on Monday, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation up almost 400% to R63.3-billion. National Treasury is among the winners here, as Amplats paid R16.6-billion to the fiscus in taxes and royalties compared with the R2.2-billion in the same period last year.

Christmas has come early for Amplats' stakeholders, a welcome change from much of the past decade, when various Grinches - in the form of depressed prices, violent outbursts of labour unrest and escalating costs - threatened to steal any Yuletide festivities in the boardroom.

Now Amplats seems to have a licence to print money.

The Anglo American unit's pivot to mechanisation and automation, combined with a surge in the prices of platinum group metals (PGMs) such as rhodium and palladium - used as catalysts in petrol engines - is paying off handsomely. Almost ridiculously, in fact.

The numbers speak for themselves, with a 28% lift in output, a 128% boost to refined output, and a 29% increase in the rand PGM basket price flowing straight to the bottom line, producing the record interim earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation - a key measure of profit - of R63.3-billion....

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