South African petrochemicals group Sasol on Thursday advised shareholders that it expected an increase of between 80% and 90% in 2012 first half headline earnings, when compared with the first half of the 2011 financial year.
Sasol initially forecast a 45% year-on-year increase in its interim earnings and headline earnings a share for the six months to the end of December.
The expected increase in earnings was mainly owing to solid operational performance in the businesses, coupled with a strong improvement in the average crude oil and product prices and a weaker rand/US dollar exchange rate. In addition, the results had been positively impacted by exchange gains on foreign exchange contracts.
Sasol also highlighted that the results may be impacted by further changes in oil and product prices, volume variances, the impact of closing exchange rates on financial assets and liabilities, as well as any adjustments, including possible impairments, resulting from its half year-end closure process.
Further adjustments may arise, including remeasurement effects.
“The higher earnings base of the second half of the 2011 financial year will strongly influence a comparison of the full 2012 financial year’s results with 2011,” the company said in a statement.
Sasol traded higher at R409 a share on Thursday, from a closing price of R402.50 a share on Wednesday.