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....