Sasol Sees Profit Rising as Much as 17% as Synfuels Output Gains

Sasol Ltd., the world’s largest producer of gasoline from coal, said full-year profit probably rose as much as 17 percent as an increase in synthetic-fuels output exceeded its forecast and the rand weakened.

Earnings per share excluding one-time items climbed 11 percent to 17 percent in the 12 months ended June 30 from 32.62 rand ($3.06) a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement. Synfuels production rose 2 percent to 7.6 million metric tons, compared with a forecast of 7.3 million to 7.5 million tons. So-called normalized fixed-cash costs were “slightly below market inflation,” it said.

“A 97 percent annual utilization rate achieved at the Oryx gas-to-liquids plant” in Qatar also boosted profit, Sasol said.

The rand traded at an average 10.3817 per dollar in the year ended June 30, 15 percent weaker than the mean in the preceding year. Crude averaged $101.28 a barrel, 9.8 percent more than a year earlier. Sasol’s selling prices are linked to the dollar price of oil.

The company’s 5.3 billion-rand impairment on Canadian shale-gas assets, announced on Feb. 14, will weigh on profit, it said.