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Implats flags more than 300% earnings leap

South African miner Impala Platinum (Implats) on Thursday flagged a more than 300% surge in annual earnings, boosted by an increase in metals prices and a weaker rand currency.

The platinum miner expects headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended June to be between 20.07 rand ($1.17) and 20.84 rand per share, or 374% to 393% higher, compared with 4.23 rand a year earlier.

HEPS is the main profit measure used in South Africa.

Higher platinum group metals prices (PGM) have boosted profits for South African platinum miners, the world’s top producer of the metal, despite Covid-19 restrictions and a lockdown that temporarily shut operations.

Implats said during the period it had delivered production volumes at the top-end of its previous guidance given in June of 2.77 million to 2.795 million ounces.

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Overall, the pandemic impact saw the country’s total mining output contract for a fourth consecutive month in June, down 28.2% year-on-year, with PGM production 42.5% lower.

Implats’ gross profit is expected to increase to 23 billion rand in the period from 7 billion rand a year ago, despite an expected 5% decline in refined and saleable PGM’s to 2.8 million ounces relative to the comparable period.

The company is expected to report its full-year results on September 3.