Petrochemicals group Sasol on Monday reported a 25 percent surge in headline earnings per share to R42.28, a new full-year record for the group.
Following the release of its results, Sasol’s share price increased 2.56 percent to close at R383.66.
Sasol chief financial officer Christine Ramon said the past year was characterised by a predominantly favourable but volatile macro environment.
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"The global economy remains, with the European debt crisis taking its toll. China is experiencing slower growth while facing a slow-down in the US recovery. Despite this, oil and commodity prices were strong throughout most of the 2012 financial year."
In the year ended June, Sasol’s operating profit increased 23 percent to R36.8bn. The total dividend for the year increased 35 percent to R17.50 per share. The company’s operating profit, however, was affected by "once-off" charges amounting to R2.1bn.
"These items relate primarily to the partial impairment of our Canadian shale gas assets of R964m and impairment of Block 16/19 in Mozambique amounting to R434m, as well as the write-off of an unsuccessful exploration well in Australia amounting to R274m," Sasol said.
The chemicals market was challenging with prices softening because of weaker demand in downstream markets. Coupled with higher feedstock prices, this had led to an industry-wide margin squeeze. Lower prices increased the "disconnect" between gas and crude oil in the US.
"Though this had a negative impact on our Canadian upstream operations in the short term, this remains positive for our GTL (gas-to-liquid) value proposition in the longer term," Ms Ramon said.
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