Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Shares in Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) reached their highest levels in five years after the world’s largest platinum miner advised the market to expect sharply higher annual profit due to improved metal prices and operational performances at its mines.

Amplats, which will produce between 2.45-million ounces and 2.5-million ounces of platinum for the 2018 financial year to end-December, advised the market it anticipated headline earnings to increase by at least R777m from the previous year’s R3.89bn.

Basic earnings were anticipated to be at least R302m higher from last year’s R1.51bn.

The results are due on February 18.

The trading update sent Amplats’s share price up 5.6% to R549, taking it to its highest since 2012.

Amplats has rallied to a level not seen since 2012.
Amplats has rallied to a level not seen since 2012.
Image: Iress

SA’s platinum miners have benefited from strong performances in the suite of platinum group metals they produce, most notably palladium, the price of which has surpassed that of gold and platinum because of a yawning supply deficit that shows no signs of closing.

Other metals such as rhodium have also increased in price.

Amplats expects to produce between 1.5-million ounces and 1.6-million ounces of palladium in 2018.

Amplats has not only secured the benefit of higher prices for its metals, but the restructuring of its business, moving away from expensive deep-level, labour intensive mining to focus on shallow, mechanised operations has delivered benefits too.

Amplats is 80% owned by Anglo American.

seccombea@businesslive.co.za