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Amplats says first-half earnings to rise sharply

The company's interim earnings are expected to rise by almost 1 500 percent.

An Amplats mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The world's biggest platinum producer Anglo American Platinum said on Monday it expected its interim earnings to rise by almost 1,500 percent as it recovers from a five-month strike last year and benefits from an after-tax gain.

South African-based Amplats, which will release its results next Monday, said in a statement that headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa, were expected to come in between 940 and 950 cents, an increase of almost 1,500 percent.

The company said it had increased its estimate of the quantity of metals in its inventory, which resulted in an after tax gain of 600 cents per share.

A weaker rand has also helped lift its earnings since the company exports almost all of its production.

Platinum prices are trading around their lowest levels since 2009, only marginally above $1,000 per ounce, which has pushed Amplats' shares to decade-lows and rival Lonmin to historic low.