Iran situation likely to dent Sasol perfomance

Petrochemicals giant Sasol has once more warned that the uncertain situation around Iran may have a negative impact on earnings but qualified this by saying general performance will remain robust in the year to end June 2013.

Sasol posted today its trading statement for the first quarter ended September.  “We remain confident that, based on the production guidance and our macroeconomic  assumptions,  we  will   deliver solid operational performance and earnings for the 2013 financial year compared to the reported attributable earnings of R23,6 billion in the 2012 financial year, excluding the impact resulting from the Arya Sasol Polymer Company potential impairment. This impairment will not have an impact on headline earnings per share. The increased uncertainty within the Iranian environment coupled with the devaluation of the Iranian currency, may further negatively impact our earnings,” said Sasol chief financial officer Christine Ramon”.

Ramon said “In the first three months of the 2013 financial year, we have delivered strong financial results, despite the ongoing global economic uncertainty and labour turmoil in South Africa. The group benefited from improvements in the operational performance of its foundation businesses, as well as a weaker rand/dollar exchange rate”.

Sasol added that global economic conditions remained challenging in the first quarter with the Euro-zone remaining in the grip of recession and the growth in China’s gross domestic product easing further. “On a more positive note, economic activity in the United States (US) improved and early second quarter economic indicators suggest a stabilisation in the housing market and improved consumer confidence”. 
“In South Africa, economic growth remained subdued and below potential. Of particular concern is the labour unrest in the country, particularly in the mining sector, which was significantly impacted. Our own mining operations were not affected by any strike action during the period, owing to healthy labour relations and our ongoing corporate social investment in our surrounding communities”.

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