Sibanye-Stillwater profit rises as metals prices climb

Sibanye said it was positioned for a stronger financial performance for 2021 due to strong commodities and increased production.
Sibanye said it was positioned for a stronger financial performance for 2021 due to strong commodities and increased production.
Image: Sowetan

Sibanye-Stillwater reported on Thursday a rise in 2020 earnings and reduced debt, helped by higher metals prices and output, and said it could now focus on how best to use its capital to serve stakeholders.

High prices for metals extracted by Sibanye, including platinum, palladium and rhodium, boosted profits and helped the firm weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The precious metals producer said headline earnings per share for 2020 soared to 1,068 cents ($0.73), compared with a headline loss of 40 cents a year earlier.

Revenue increased by 75% year on year to R127bln ($8.65 bln).

Sibanye said the average basket price of four of the platinum group metals (PGM) it mines rose 83% and the average rand gold price increased by 43%.

A weak local currency that reduces local costs, further boosted earnings.

Sibanye, which reinstated its dividend in 2020 for the first time since 2017, declared a full-year dividend of 321 cents per share bringing the total dividend for the year to 371 cents per share.

Sibanye, which has been deleveraging its balance sheet, reduced borrowing by 5.354 billion rand to 18.383 billion rand during the year.

The miner said its focus would now shift to the appropriate allocation of capital to ensure value for stakeholders and sustainability.

"The global focus has shifted to prioritising a cleaner and greener future, Sibanye-Stillwater is particularly well placed in pursuing its growth strategy and producing the essential metals that the world requires,” said Sibanye-Stillwater Chief Executive Neal Froneman.

Sibanye said it was positioned for a stronger financial performance for 2021 due to strong commodities and increased production.

Output in 2020 from its SA PGM operations dipped 2% to 1.577 million ounces but exceeded annual guidance, while production at its U.S PGM operations ticked up 2% for the year to 603,067 ounces, missing its guidance due to a spike in Covid-19 infections, the company said.

Group gold production rose to 982,559 ounces from 932,659 ounces a year earlier, with output at its own mines exceeding its guidance.

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