S.Africa’s Northam expects lower profit on costs, weaker metal prices

South Africa’s Northam Platinum (NPHJ.J) on Monday said it expects its annual profit to decline by as much as 12.5% despite increased production due to higher costs and weaker metal prices.

Northam expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) – the most common profit measure in South Africa – of between 22.84 and 25.46 rand ($1.20-$1.34) for the year ended June 30, down from 26.11 rand last year.

The platinum group metal (PGM) miner’s refined production increased 13% to 809,775 ounces.

The higher output and weaker rand helped push Northam’s sales revenue up 16.1%.

However, cash costs per refined ounce increased 12.6%, while the U.S. dollar basket price for Northam’s four PGMs was down 20% compared to last year.

Northam unsuccessfully tried to acquire Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPJ.J) as it sought to add its smaller peer’s shallow, high quality PGM assets to its portfolio, triggering a lengthy takeover battle eventually won by larger rival Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J) .

Northam will release its annual results on Aug. 25.

Source: Reuters