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Interim Profit Statement - Sasol

Release Date: 02/03/1998 14:01:09      Code(s): SOL SOLD
SASOL LIMITED
INTERIM PROFIT STATEMENT AND DECLARATION OF DIVIDEND NO 37 FOR THE HALF YEAR
ENDED 25 DECEMBER 1997
(COMPANY REGISTRATION NUMBER 79/03231/06)
(INCORPORATED IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA)
 - ATTRIBUTABLE EARNINGS - R1 141 MILLION
 - SASOL SYNTHETIC FUELS - PRODUCTION VOLUMES MAINTAINED
 - SASOL MINING - IMPROVED PROFITABILITY
 - SASOL OIL - INCREASED THROUGHPUT
 - SASOL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES - INCREASED VOLUMES
PARTICULARS OF FINANCIAL RESULTS
THE GROUP'S UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED RESULTS FOR THE HALF YEAR ENDED 25 DECEMBER
1997 ARE AS FOLLOWS:
CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT
                                  HALF YEAR        HALF YEAR      YEAR
                                  ENDED            ENDED          ENDED
                                  25/12/1997       25/12/1996     25/06/1997
                                  R MILLION        R MILLION      R MILLION
TURNOVER                          7 917            7 895          15 810
OPERATING PROFIT                  1 698            1 989          3 900
DIVIDENDS RECEIVED                5                2              9
NET INTEREST RECEIVED             117              148            322
INCOME BEFORE TAXATION            1 820            2 139          4 231
PROVISION FOR TAXATION            (685)            (842)          (1 592)
INCOME AFTER TAXATION             1 135            1 297          2 639
OUTSIDE SHAREHOLDERS' INTEREST    (15)             (14)           (33)
TAX EQUALISATION RESERVE TRANSFER 50               -              -
EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO
PERMANENT CAPITAL HOLDERS         1 170            1 283          2 606
NET DEBENTURE INTEREST            (29)             (29)           (58)
EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO
SHAREHOLDERS                      1 141            1 254          2 548
DIVIDENDS                         (393)            (394)          (889)
DEPRECIATION OF AND AMOUNTS
WRITTEN OFF FIXED ASSETS LESS
PROFIT ON DISPOSAL                549              480            974
HEADLINE EARNINGS PER SHARE
(CENTS)                           178,4            206,5          420,5
EARNINGS PER SHARE (CENTS)        188,6            207,7          421,8
DIVIDEND PER SHARE (CENTS)        65,0             65,0           147,0
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
                                  HALF YEAR        HALF YEAR      YEAR
                                  ENDED            ENDED          ENDED
                                  25/12/1997       25/12/1996     25/06/1997
                                  R MILLION        R MILLION      R MILLION
SOURCE OF CAPITAL
SHARE CAPITAL                     1 525            1 513          1 518
DISTRIBUTABLE RESERVES            11 028           9 435          10 260
CONVERTIBLE DEBENTURES            1 028            1 028          1 028
OUTSIDE SHAREHOLDERS' INTEREST    78               83             82
LONG-TERM LIABILITIES             491              1 080          849
TAX EQUALISATION RESERVE          50               100            100
DEFERRED TAXATION                 3 371            2 869          3 165
                                  17 571           16 108         17 002
EMPLOYMENT OF CAPITAL
FIXED ASSETS                      14 190           12 414         13 163
OTHER LONG-TERM ASSETS            583              562            598
CURRENT ASSETS                    6 743            7 070          7 231
    CASH FUNDS                    1 190            2 484          2 438
    OTHER CURRENT ASSETS          5 553            4 586          4 793
CURRENT LIABILITIES               (3 553)          (3 641)        (3 693)
INTEREST-BEARING SHORT-TERM DEBT  (392)            (297)          (297)
                                  17 571           16 108         17 002
NET ASSET VALUE PER SHARE (CENTS) 2 074,5          1 811,7        1 947,7
NUMBER OF ORDINARY SHARES IN
ISSUE (MILLION)                   605,1            604,3          604,7
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE  FOR PERIOD
(R MILLION)                       1 515            1 375          2 617
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AUTHORISED
(R MILLION)                       3 124            3 617          3 571
CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT
                                  HALF YEAR        HALF YEAR      YEAR
                                  ENDED            ENDED          ENDED
                                  25/12/1997       25/12/1996     25/06/1997
                                  R MILLION        R MILLION      R MILLION
CASH FLOW FROM OPERATIONS         2 249            2 475          4 869
INVESTMENT INCOME                 175              215            445
MOVEMENT IN WORKING CAPITAL       (636)            (375)          (414)
CASH GENERATED BY OPERATING
ACTIVITIES                        1 788            2 315          4 900
FINANCE COSTS PAID                (53)             (65)           (114)
TAXATION PAID                     (585)            (328)          (998)
CASH AVAILABLE FROM OPERATING
ACTIVITIES                        1 150            1 922          3 788
DISTRIBUTION TO PERMANENT CAPITAL
HOLDERS                           (540)            (464)          (901)
CASH RETAINED FROM OPERATING
ACTIVITIES                        610              1 458          2 887
ACQUISITION OF FIXED ASSETS       (1 515)          (1 375)        (2 617)
OTHER MOVEMENTS                   21               (112)          (101)
(INCREASE)/DECREASE IN FUNDING
REQUIREMENTS                      (884)            (29)           169
SHARE CAPITAL ISSUED              7                18             23
MOVEMENT IN OUTSIDE SHAREHOLDERS'
INTEREST                          (19)             (25)           (43)
MOVEMENT IN LONG-TERM LIABILITIES (419)            59             (172)
MOVEMENT IN SHORT-TERM LOANS      67               1              1
(DECREASE)/INCREASE IN CASH       (1 248)          24             (22)
FINANCIAL RESULTS
EARNINGS ATTRIBUTABLE TO SHAREHOLDERS, AFTER TAX EQUALISATION RESERVE
TRANSFERS, DECREASED BY 9% TO R1141 MILLION. THE TAX EQUALISATION RESERVE IS NO
LONGER REQUIRED AND IS BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE INCOME STATEMENT EVENLY OVER
THE FINANCIAL YEAR. THE CONTINUED HIGH LEVEL OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURE, REPAYMENT
OF LONG-TERM DEBT AND INVESTMENTS IN OFFSHORE COMPANIES REDUCED CASH SURPLUSES
AND CONSEQUENTLY INTEREST EARNED.
HEADLINE EARNINGS DECREASED BY 28,1 CENTS TO 178,4 CENTS PER SHARE.
AN INTERIM DIVIDEND OF 65 CENTS PER SHARE, THE SAME AS IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR,
HAS BEEN DECLARED.
CONTRIBUTION TO OPERATING PROFIT
THE CONTRIBUTION TO THE OPERATING PROFIT OF THE GROUP IS AS FOLLOWS:
                       JUL/DEC         JUL/DEC        JAN/JUNE     YEAR
                       1997            1996           1997         1996/1997
                       R MILLION       R MILLION      R MILLION    R MILLION
SASOL SYNTHETIC FUELS  680             866            1 048        1 914
SASOL MINING           108             157            62           219
SASOL OIL              344             341            327          668
SASOL CHEMICAL
INDUSTRIES             594             648            491          1 139
OTHER                  (28)            (23)           (17)         (40)
                       1 698           1 989          1 911        3 900
SASOL SYNTHETIC FUELS
THE LOWER OPERATING PROFIT WAS MAINLY THE RESULT OF LOWER PRODUCT PRICES AND
THE REDUCED REFERENCE PRICE FOR TARIFF PROTECTION. THE EFFECT OF THESE FACTORS
WAS MITIGATED PARTIALLY BY A WEAKER R/US$ EXCHANGE RATE (R4,66/US$ VS
R4,51/US$) AND THE CONTAINMENT OF COST INCREASES TO WELL BELOW THE INFLATION
RATE. THE VOLUME OF PRODUCTION WAS VIRTUALLY THE SAME AS IN THE COMPARABLE
PERIOD OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR, DESPITE THE PROLONGED SCHEDULED SHUTDOWN FOR PLANT
MAINTENANCE. INCREASED PRODUCTION IN THE SECOND HALF AS A RESULT OF NO FURTHER
PLANNED PLANT SHUTDOWNS AND ANTICIPATED BETTER PLANT AVAILABILITY WILL RESULT
IN AN INCREASE IN OPERATING PROFIT WHICH WILL BE HIGHER THAN THAT OF THE FIRST
HALF BUT LOWER THAN THAT OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE PREVIOUS FINANCIAL YEAR.
PROFIT FOR THE YEAR WILL BE LOWER THAN THAT OF THE PRECEDING YEAR.
SASOL MINING
ALTHOUGH THE OPERATING PROFIT IS LOWER THAN THAT OF THE COMPARABLE PERIOD, IT
IS SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN THAT OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE PREVIOUS FINANCIAL
YEAR AS A RESULT OF ACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO IMPROVE PROFITABILITY. THE
OPERATING PROFIT IS EXPECTED TO FURTHER IMPROVE IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR.
SASOL OIL
OPERATING PROFIT WAS MAINTAINED AT THE SAME LEVEL AS THAT OF THE COMPARABLE
PERIOD LARGELY DUE TO INCREASED THROUGHPUT AT THE REFINERY AND THE WEAKER R/US$
EXCHANGE RATE REDUCED BY THE IMPACT OF LOWER DOLLAR REFINING MARGINS. PROFITS
FOR THE SECOND SIX MONTHS WILL BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE RECENT FURTHER
DECREASE IN REFINING MARGIN AS A RESULT OF THE DECREASE IN INTERNATIONAL CRUDE
OIL PRICES AND THE RESULTANT DECREASE IN PRODUCT PRICES.
SASOL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES
SEVERAL SMALL NEGATIVE FACTORS RESULTED IN THE OPERATING PROFIT BEING
MARGINALLY LOWER THAN THAT OF THE COMPARABLE PERIOD ALTHOUGH IT IS
SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN THAT OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE PREVIOUS FINANCIAL
YEAR. PROFIT FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR WILL BE INFLUENCED BY THE EFFECT
ON WORLD CHEMICAL PRICES ARISING FROM THE UNCERTAINTY IN THE ASIAN MARKETS.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS, DUE TO INCREASED VOLUMES, PROFIT FOR THE YEAR IS EXPECTED
TO BE HIGHER THAN THAT OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR.
PROFIT OUTLOOK
THE FULL IMPACT OF RECENT EVENTS IN ASIA ON WORLD MARKETS CANNOT AS YET BE
ASCERTAINED. THIS UNCERTAINTY, TOGETHER WITH THAT OF THE R/US$ EXCHANGE RATE,
CRUDE OIL PRICES, REFINING MARGINS AND PRODUCT PRICES, COULD EXERT DOWNWARD
PRESSURE ON PROFITS. NEVERTHELESS THE PROFIT FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE
FINANCIAL YEAR IS EXPECTED TO EXCEED THAT OF THE FIRST HALF, BUT GIVEN THESE
FACTORS THE ATTAINMENT OF THE RECORD PROFIT LEVEL OF 1996/97 IS NOT ANTICIPATED
DECLARATION OF INTERIM DIVIDEND NO 37
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE DIRECTORS HAVE DECLARED AN INTERIM DIVIDEND OF
65 CENTS PER SHARE (1996 - 65 CENTS PER SHARE) IN RESPECT OF THE SIX MONTHS
ENDED 25 DECEMBER 1997. THE DIVIDEND IS DECLARED IN THE CURRENCY OF THE
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND WILL BE PAYABLE TO SHAREHOLDERS REGISTERED IN THE
BOOKS OF THE COMPANY AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON FRIDAY, 20 MARCH 1998.
DIVIDEND CHEQUES IN PAYMENT OF THIS DIVIDEND WILL BE POSTED TO SHAREHOLDERS ON
OR ABOUT 15 APRIL 1998. ELECTRONIC PAYMENT OF THE DIVIDEND WILL TAKE PLACE AT
THE SAME TIME.
NOTICE OF ANY CHANGE OF ADDRESS OF SHAREHOLDERS MUST REACH THE TRANSFER
SECRETARIES, MERCANTILE REGISTRARS LIMITED, PO BOX 1053, JOHANNESBURG, 2000, ON
OR BEFORE 20 MARCH 1998.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD
                                    N L JOUBERT
2 MARCH 1998                        COMPANY SECRETARY
REGISTERED OFFICE:
1 STURDEE AVENUE, ROSEBANK, JOHANNESBURG, 2196.
PO BOX 5486, JOHANNESBURG, 2000.
TRANSFER SECRETARIES:
MERCANTILE REGISTRARS LIMITED, 94 PRESIDENT STREET, JOHANNESBURG, 2001.
PO BOX 1053, JOHANNESBURG, 2000.
DIRECTORS:
P DU P KRUGER (CHAIRMAN), P V COX (MANAGING DIRECTOR), E LE R BRADLEY,
W A M CLEWLOW, B P CONNELLAN, L P A DAVIES (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR), A G DU TOIT, J
H FOURIE (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR), M J LEVETT, S MONTSI, J SCHREMPP (GERMAN), C H
WIESE.



                                        
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