Royal Bafokeng reports record jump in annual profit

Royal Bafokeng Platinum's headline earnings per share (HEPS) - the main profit measure in SA - rose to 1,354 cents in 2020 from 50 cents a year ago.
Royal Bafokeng Platinum's headline earnings per share (HEPS) - the main profit measure in SA - rose to 1,354 cents in 2020 from 50 cents a year ago.
Image: 123RF/ fesenko

Royal Bafokeng Platinum reported on Tuesday an almost 30-fold jump in annual profit, driven by higher platinum prices, increased output and a weak rand exchange rate.

The Johannesburg-listed company's headline earnings per share (HEPS) - the main profit measure in SA - rose to 1,354 cents in 2020 from 50 cents a year ago.

The platinum group metals (PGM) miner, which engages in mining of platinum, palladium and rhodium, declared its maiden dividend of 575 cents per share for the year that ended Dec. 31.

Prices of platinum and sister metals rose last year by more than 80% since a crash around mid-March, led by strong demand from the auto industry amid tight supply. The industry uses the commodities for cleaning up exhaust fumes.

This has heavily boosted the profits of PGM miners, such as Impala Platinum and Sibanye Stillwater , helping them ride out the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, despite high prices, Royal Bafokeng held back from announcing any expansion plans.

"We will be very cautious of trying to run before we walk properly," CEO Steve Phiri said in an investor call.

The company's revenue rose 78.6% to 13.38 billion rand ($871.97 million) in the year from 7.5 billion a year ago.

Phiri also announced the resignation of board chairman, Kgomotso Moroka, with effect from the first annual general meeting in April.

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