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Sasol Limited - Trading Statement For The Six Months Ended 31 December 2015

Release Date: 28/01/2016 15:00:00      Code(s): SOL SOLBE1     
Sasol Limited
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
(Registration number 1979/003231/06)
Sasol Ordinary Share codes:     JSE: SOL       NYSE: SSL
Sasol Ordinary ISIN codes:      ZAE000006896 US8038663006
Sasol BEE Ordinary Share code: JSE: SOLBE1
Sasol BEE Ordinary ISIN code:   ZAE000151817
(?Sasol? or ?the Company?)


Trading statement for the six months ended 31 December 2015

The first half of the 2016 financial year was characterised by a
continued strong business performance across most of the value
chain. Our business performance was however negatively impacted
by challenging and highly volatile global markets, marked by a
steep decline in global oil and commodity chemical prices,
partly offset by a weaker Rand exchange rate.

Sasol's headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months
ended 31 December 2015 are expected to decrease by between 23%
and 28% (approximating R7,36 to R8,96 per share) compared to the
2015 financial half year (comparable period) HEPS of R32,00.
Earnings per share (EPS) for the same period are expected to
decrease by between 62% and 67% (approximating R19,86 to R21,47
per share) from the comparable period EPS of R32,04. On a
normalised basis, excluding the impact of once-off items such as
net impairment charges and the share-based payment expense, EPS
are expected to decrease by between 8% and 13% (approximating
R2,17 to R3,53 per share).

The Group?s profitability was adversely impacted by a 47% lower
average Brent crude oil price (average dated Brent was
US$47/barrel(b) for the six months ended 31 December 2015
compared to US$89/b in the comparable period). Further, the
price of our basket of commodity chemicals declined by 23%
compared with the comparable period. The effect of lower oil and
commodity chemical prices was partly offset by a 24% weaker
average rand/US dollar exchange rate (average rand/US dollar
exchange rate was R13,62 for the six months ended 31 December
2015 compared to R10,99 in the comparable period). The average
margin for our speciality chemicals remained resilient and in
line with the comparable period.

Notwithstanding the tough macroeconomic environment, we
continued to focus on factors within our control by delivering a
strong operational performance across our global integrated
value chain. The highlights of our operational performance were:

 - Secunda Synfuels operations increased production volumes by
   3% compared to the comparable period.
 - Total liquid fuels production for the Energy business
   increased by 4% compared to the comparable period as a result
   of a higher portion of Synfuels volumes being utilised by the
   Energy business. Sales volumes for the Energy business
   decreased by 1% compared to the comparable period on the back
   of difficult market and trading conditions experienced in
   December 2015, driven by lower demand for liquid fuels in
   Southern Africa.
 - The ORYX GTL facility continued to deliver a solid
   performance, with an average utilisation rate of 90% for the
   period.
 - Secunda Chemicals and Sasolburg operations? production
   volumes remained in line with the comparable period. The
   increase in volumes from our Fischer-Tropsch Wax Expansion
   Project was offset by lower C3 volumes as a result of planned
   commissioning activities associated with the C3 Expansion
   Project.
 - Sales volumes for the Base Chemicals business decreased by
   13% due to lower C3 volumes available as a result of
   commissioning the C3 Expansion Project and softer demand for
   some commodity chemical products.
 - Sales volumes from our Performance Chemicals business,
   normalised for the planned shutdown at our ethylene plant in
   North America, remained on par with the comparable period.

A detailed production summary and key business performance
metrics for the first half of the 2016 financial year for all
our businesses are available on our website, www.sasol.com.

Our company-wide Business Performance Enhancement Programme
aimed at delivering sustainable cost savings of R4,3 billion by
the end of financial year 2016, continues to progress very well,
and we are on track to exceed our sustainable cost savings
target for the current financial year. These efforts resulted
in increases in normalised cash fixed costs continuing to trend
well below inflation for the period.

Our comprehensive Response Plan focussed on cash conservation,
in reaction to the lower-for-longer oil price environment, has
continued to yield cash savings in line with our 2016 financial
year targets. The Response Plan positioned the company well
within a US$45-50/b oil price environment. We are currently
assessing the implications of the latest developments in the
external macroeconomic environment on the scope of our Response
Plan and will communicate further details regarding the
potential update of our Response Plan targets in our results
announcement on 7 March 2016.

In addition, Sasol?s profitability was further impacted by the
following once-off items:

 - A net remeasurement charge of R7,6 billion for the first half
   of the 2016 financial year compared to a R0,2 billion expense
   in the comparable period. This mainly relates to a partial
   impairment of our share in the Montney shale gas asset of R7,4
   billion (CAD665 million) due to a further deterioration of
   conditions in the North American gas market resulting in a 16%
   decline in forecasted natural gas prices. The impairment had a
   negative impact on the effective tax rate for the group. This
   asset remains highly sensitive to changes in the gas price. We
   estimate that a 5% change in the gas price may result in a
   change of CAD255 million (approximately R2,9 billion) in the
   recoverable amount of the asset.
 - A cash-settled share-based payment charge of R0,4 billion
   compared to a credit of R2,9 billion for the comparable
   period.
 - The positive impact from the reversal of a tax provision of
   R2,3 billion (US$166 million) based on a favourable ruling
   received from the Tax Appeal Tribunal in Nigeria relating to
   the Escravos Gas-to-Liquids (EGTL) project. The reversal of
   the provision reduced the effective tax rate for the group.

Our results for the first half of the 2016 financial year may be
further affected by any adjustments resulting from our half-
year-end closure process. This may result in a change in the
estimated earnings noted above. This trading statement only
deals with the comparison to the first half of the 2015
financial year. Guidance will be provided on the expected full
2016 financial year?s results when there is a reasonable degree
of certainty in this regard. We expect that there will be a
further negative impact on our results for the remainder of the
2016 financial year due to lower oil and commodity chemical
prices.

The financial information on which this trading statement is
based has not been reviewed and reported on by the Company's
external auditors. Sasol's financial results for the six months
ended 31 December 2015 will be announced on Monday, 7 March
2016.

28 January 2016
Johannesburg

Sponsor: Deutsche Securities (SA) Proprietary Limited

Disclaimer - Forward-looking statements: Sasol may, in this
document, make certain statements that are not historical facts
and relate to analyses and other information which are based on
forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet
determinable. These statements may also relate to our future
prospects, developments and business strategies. Examples of
such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to,
statements regarding exchange rate fluctuations, volume growth,
increases in market share, total shareholder return and cost
reductions. 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 the
predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking
statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks
materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect,
our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated.
You should understand that a number of important factors could
cause actual results to differ materially from the plans,
objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in
such forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed
more fully in our most recent annual report under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 on Form 20-F filed on 9 October 2015 and in
other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission. The list of factors discussed therein is not
exhaustive; when relying on forward-looking statements to make
investment decisions, you should carefully consider both these
factors and other uncertainties and events. 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: 28/01/2016 03:00:00 Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za                     
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