Anglo American Platinum returns to profit

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, said it returned to profit last year after sales increased and the rand depreciated against the dollar.

Earnings per share excluding one-time items will be R4.80 to R5.90 in the 12 months ended December 31 compared with a loss in 2012, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. That exceeds the R4.44 median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

The increase "is primarily due to higher sales volumes and a favourable rand-dollar exchange rate," it said. "This was partially offset by weaker US dollar metals prices and one-off restructuring costs amounting to R1.5-billion."

Amplats, together with other producers in South Africa, which has the world’s biggest platinum reserves, is bracing for the most severe labour turmoil since 44 people died during a strike at Lonmin in August 2012 as at least 70 000 members of the largest union at platinum operations in South Africa prepare to strike over pay on Thursday. – Bloomberg

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