Anglo American Platinum Facing Profit Slump

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VENTURES AFRICA – Anglo American Platinum was certain that profits for the year to December 2012 will slump by more than 20 percent as the protracted industrial strike, among other things, took its toll on the company’s operations, it said on Wednesday.

This drop in earnings will force the board to speed up the appointment of a new CEO at parent company, Anglo American. Cynthia Carroll, the former CEO at Anglo American, resigned recently.

Analysts believe that the next CEO will have to focus on mergers and acquisitions – something Carroll did not pursue. She focused on new projects more than anything.

They believe the miner needs someone who can demerge Anglo American Platinum business and find a strategic buyer for the rest.

Anglo American Platinum, the world’s leading producer of platinum group metals, has attributed the slump in profits to lower sales volumes, the impact of the illegal industrial action on production and cost and higher mining inflation.

But on Wednesday, Anglo American Platinum made a new offer to striking workers in an attempt to get operations running again.

The new offer still included a once-off payment of 4 500 rand ($503). It said in addition, workers had also been given two more options to choose from.

“[They are] a pre-tax stand-alone allowance of 600 rand ($68) [per month] or a salary increase of 400 rand ($45) per month,” the spokesperson said. The options would be effective as soon as they returned to work.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the strike committee would now go to the striking workers and tell them about the latest offer.

Negotiators would then return to the company on Thursday with the workers’ response.

The company has been offering workers deadline-driven incentives to return to work at its Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union mines, where operations have been at a standstill for eight weeks over a pay increase demand.

Workers have not accepted previous offers. The 4500 rand ($503) allowance as already offered includes a loyalty or hardship allowance and a safe start-up allowance.

Headline earnings and basic earnings reported for the comparative period were 3.566 billion rand ($401 million) and 3.591 billion rand ($404 million) respectively while headline earnings per share (“HEPS”) and earnings per share (“EPS”) were 13.65 rand ($2) and 13.74 rand ($2) respectively.

The company advised that a further trading statement will be issued in due course to provide earnings forecast ranges for earnings per share and headline earnings per share.

Anglo American Platinum is a member of the Anglo American plc Group. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). Its mining, smelting and refining operations are based in South Africa.

Elsewhere in the world, the group owns Unki Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe and is actively exploring in Brazil. Anglo American Platinum has a number of joint ventures with several historically disadvantaged South African consortia as part of its commitment to the transformation of the mining industry.