Sasol warns of lower interim earnings

25th November 2019 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

JSE- and NYSE-listed Sasol expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end December 31, to be at least 20%, or R4.65, lower than the HEPS of R23.25 reported for the six months ended December 31, 2018.

The company on Monday said its earnings per share (EPS) should be about 20%, or R4.78, lower than the EPS of R23.92 reported for the prior comparable period.

Sasol warned that its financial results might be further affected by adjustments resulting from its half-year-end closure process.

The company also noted that it had taken several actions that were consistent with its commitment towards making its balance sheet flexible, increasing its liquidity and maintaining an optimal funding mix.

This includes putting in place incremental liquidity through a $1-billion syndicated loan facility with Bank of America, Citi, Mizuho and MUFG of up to 18 months and two bilateral facilities with a combined quantum of $250-million and a tenor of two years.

These facilities enhance the company’s dollar liquidity position during the peak gearing phase as the Lake Charles Chemicals Project ramps up. These incremental facilities should not affect Sasol’s net debt position.

In these new facilities, consistent with the Sasol’s existing revolving credit facility and dollar term loan facility, the covenant has been set at three times net debt: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda).

However, Sasol said that, across all of these facilities, the lenders have agreed that for the financial reporting periods ending December 2019 and June 2020 the covenant will be increased to 3.5 times net debt to Ebitda.

The interim results should be released on or about February 24.