In a financial year in which mining production exceeded processing capacity, Northam Platinum expects to post a loss that masks the underlying operational strength of the business. Northam has an empowerment financial structure in place that skews the bottom line each year and the 12 months to end-June were no different, with the company forecasting a loss and headline loss of between 185.9c and 216c compared to 181.8c and 181.9c respectively the year before. There is a non-cash preference share dividend that is accounted for by the Zambezi Platinum empowerment structure. However, on a normalised headline earnings basis, which excludes Zambezi, Northam expects to report R420m when it releases results on September 7, up from the previous year’s R398m. At an earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) level, which is almost an operating profit number, Northam said it would report R1.1bn compared to R967m. Northam has about 170,000oz of platinum group met...

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