Energy and chemical group Sasol warned on Thursday that its first-half earnings could decline by as much as 28% when compared with the same period last year, owing mainly to lower oil and chemical prices.
Headline earnings a share for the six months ended December 31, 2015, would be between R7.36 a share to R8.96 a share lower than the R32 a share achieved in the first half of its 2015 financial year.
The Brent crude oil price was $47/bl during the period compared with $89/bl in 2015. The price of Sasol’s basket of commodity chemicals declined by 23% period-on-period.
The effect of lower oil and commodity chemical prices was partly offset by a 24% weaker average rand/dollar exchange rate of R13.62.
Sasol’s profitability would also be impacted by a remeasurement charge of R7.6-billion, which related mainly to a partial impairment of the group’s share in the Montney shale gas asset.
The JSE-listed group would release its interim results on March 7.