Harmony financial director Nomfundo Qangule steps down ahead of results

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

Jumping ship ahead of, or immediately following the announcement of company financial results seems to be a growing trend in South Africa's mining industry.

Harmony Gold Mining yesterday announced that financial director Nomfundo Qangule had resigned with immediate effect ahead of the company's presentation of full year results on Monday next week.

African Rainbow Minerals'(ARM) financial director Frank Abbott has been appointed the interim financial director of Harmony for six months.

ARM said Mike Arnold, the executive: finance at ARM, would be acting chief financial officer at ARM during that period.

Graham Briggs, acting chief executive said: "The board's decision to appoint Frank as Harmony's interim financial director is based on his extensive knowledge of Harmony and the mining industry."

Analysts welcomed Abbott's appointment, saying it was a good idea because he knew the ins and outs of the business. Abbott was appointed Harmony's executive financial director in 1997.

Earlier this month Harmony chief executive Bernard Swanepoel resigned after heading the company for 12 years. The announcement was made on the same day the company said its financial results for the quarter ending June 30 2007 were expected to be considerably lower than anticipated.

The company said it expected to announce a headline loss per share of between 130c and 160c a share for the June 2007 quarter, compared with the March 2007 quarter headline profit of 58c a share.

This, said Harmony, was due to a combination of lower production and an increase in costs.

Harmony's share price strengthened yesterday following the announcement of Qangule's resignation. Shares traded as high as R66,49 a share in early morning trade, settling at R65,50 with a 1,25 percent gain for the day.- With I-Net Bridge