09 September 2013 11:28 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS--Sasol's full-year 2013 chemicals operating profits dropped 70% to South African rand (R) 1.92 bn ($192m) on squeezed polymer margins, adverse exchange rate movements and a partial write-down on the Arya Sasol joint venture in Iran, the South Africa-based producer said on Monday.
Sasol Polymers reported an operating loss in the year ended 30 June of R2.23bn from a profit of R716m in the year before. This included a R3.6bn partial impairment on Arya Sasol and R2bn of currency translation loses, mainly the movement of the Iranian rial (IR) against the US dollar.
Polymer sales prices improved in the second half of the financial year, the company added, on the back of the weaker rand to US dollar exchange rate.
Sales volumes for polymers in South Africa were 5% higher year on year despite the slow recovery in the polymer marker, however, margins were squeezed as feedstock price rises outweighed the increases in selling prices.
Olefins & surfactants operating profits rose by 12% year on year to R3.58bn with the US operations benefitting from the low ethane price but operations in Europe squeezed by soft demand and high petrochemical feedstock prices.
The segment’s operating profit was 23% higher if the prior year’s gain from the sale of operations in Witten, Germany, is excluded, Sasol said.
Solvents profits were down 35% at R916m in a “challenging” trading environment, the company added.
Other chemicals profits of R252m were 79% lower, including a R2bn partial impairment on its FT Wax expansion project.
Chemicals cluster turnover was down 10% at R94.75bn.
Sasol said group full-year 2012 earnings attributable to shareholders had increased by 11% to R26.3bn with headline earnings per share up 25% at R52.62 and earnings per share up 11% at R43.38.
($1 = R10.01)
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