SOL - Sasol - Expected Earnings For The Six Months Ended 31 December 2008 And Release Date: 21/01/2009 17:01:02 Code(s): SOL
SOL - Sasol - Expected Earnings For The Six Months Ended 31 December 2008 And
Revised Outlook For The Financial Year Ending 30 June 2009
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number 1979/003231/06)
ISIN: ZAE000006896 & US8038663006
Share codes: JSE - SOL & NYSE - SSL
("Sasol" or "the Company")
Expected earnings for the six months ended 31 December 2008 and revised
outlook for the financial year ending 30 June 2009
Expected earnings for the six months ended 31 December 2008
Sasol`s attributable earnings per share and headline earnings per share for
the six months ended 31 December 2008 are estimated to increase by between 55%
and 65% over the comparable previous reporting period. The expected increase
in earnings is mainly due to the weakening of the rand against the US dollar
and an increase in crude oil and product prices compared to the corresponding
six months of the previous reporting period.
Overall production volumes were also higher as a result of additional capacity
and improved operations.
Revised outlook for financial year ending 30 June 2009
Market conditions have deteriorated in recent months due to the global
economic downturn, with lower than expected crude oil and product prices as
well as lower product demand. These impacts are partially mitigated by the
weakening of the rand against the US dollar and the positive impact of the
synfuels hedge to end May 2009.
Sasol`s outlook statement given at the time of the announcement of our annual
results on 8 September 2008 of `robust growth forecast for 2009` is thus
revised to `a moderate reduction in earnings forecast for 2009 compared to the
Several assumptions have been made in estimating the expected earnings for the
full financial year 2009. These assumptions take cognisance of the volatile
market conditions and will be regularly reviewed over the remainder of the
financial year. This may result in a change in the estimated earnings.
Sasol announced on 19 January 2009 that it is systematically undertaking
comprehensive group-wide reviews of its compliance with competition law. This
trading statement excludes any provision for fines or penalties that may be
imposed by the South African Competition Commission.
Maintaining a strong cash position
Sasol has a positive cash position and a strong balance sheet, and has entered
a cash conservation mode given the global economic crisis. Sasol continues to
generate considerable cash flows, which keep the group well- positioned in the
current economic climate as well as meeting all existing debt service
We are responding to the global economic crisis by continuing to manage our
balance sheet prudently and have lowered our targeted gearing (net debt to
equity ratio) from the previous range of 30% - 50% to 20% - 40%. Our focus
remains on sustainable cost containment and improving business operational
The overarching objective of our growth plans remains unchanged: to ensure
prudent management of our resources while pursuing those projects and
programmes that are in the best interests of our shareholders and other valued
stakeholders. Therefore we are reviewing and reprioritising our planned
capital expenditure of R16bn for 2009 (R70bn for the 3 years 2009-2011) in the
light of the changed market conditions, including assessing the opportunities
that the current environment presents.
In the near future Sasol will post on its website (www.sasol.com) an update of
its South African and international projects.
Sasol`s financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2008 will be
announced on Monday, 9 March 2009.
The above information has not been reviewed or reported on by the Company`s
21 January 2009
Issued by sponsor: Deutsche Securities (SA) (Proprietary) Limited
Sasol may, in this document, make statements that are not historical facts and
relate to analyses and other information based on forecasts of future results
and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These are forward-looking
statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "expect", "intend", "seek",
"will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and similar
expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are
not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and
uncertainties, both general and specific, and there are risks that
predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will
not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialize, or should
underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may be very different
from those anticipated. The factors that could cause our actual results to
differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and
intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements are discussed more
fully in our registration statement under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
on Form 20-F filed on October 7, 2008 and in other filings with the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements apply
only as of the date on which they are made, and we do not undertake any
obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
Date: 21/01/2009 17:01:02 Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za
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