Amplats Sees Profit Falling as Much as 70% on Prices, Stocks

  • No. 1 producer benefited from inventory gain in previous year
  • Prices of metals that Anglo unit produces have also declined

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of the precious metal, said first-half profit probably fell as much as 70 percent after inventory gains last year weren’t repeated and the dollar price of the commodities it mines declined.

Headline earnings for the six months ended June 30 probably dropped to a range of 745 million rand ($52 million) to 1.24 billion rand, compared with 2.47 billion rand a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Amplats, as the Anglo American Plc unit is known, last year benefited from a 1.6 billion-rand gain from its annual metal-inventory count, less than the 424 million-rand figure for this year, it said. Platinum fell 6.5 percent in the year to June and has lost more than 40 percent since August 2011. Palladium decreased 10 percent in the year.

Major producers, including Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin Plc, are coping with lower prices by selling or closing mines, reining in spending and cutting thousands of jobs. That’s weighing on economic growth in South Africa, the source of more than 70 percent of the world’s platinum and a country where more than one in four workers is jobless.

Amplats shares, which have more than doubled this year as the South African currency slumped, fell 3 percent to 385.2 rand by 10:35 a.m. in Johannesburg.

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