Sibanye operating profit boosted by higher production and gold price
Salient features for the quarter ended 31 March 2016.
- Revenue increased 50% due to production and gold price increases;
- 240% increase in operating profit to R2.5 billion, with the operating margin more than doubling to 38%;
- All-in sustaining cost (AISC) 3% lower at R454,282/kg and 28% lower in dollar terms at US$895/oz;
- The Aquarius transaction was successfully concluded in April 2016; and
- Net debt, excluding Burnstone, reduced from R1,362 million to R591 million at the end of the quarter (after payment of R916 million in dividends).
Westonaria, 25 April 2016: Sibanye today reported solid operational results for the March 2016 quarter, with a 14% increase in production and a 30% higher average rand gold price, resulting in a 240% increase in operating profit to R2.5 billion, compared with R744 million for the March 2015 quarter. Total cash cost remained flat year-on-year, despite the implementation of above inflation wage and electricity tariff increases, while All-in sustaining cost was 3% lower.
The forecast gold production for the year remains unchanged at 50,000kg (1.61Moz). Total cash cost is forecast at approximately R355,000/kg (US$735/oz) and the All-in sustaining cost at approximately R425,000/kg (US$880/oz).
Progress on the Platinum transactions was pleasing with shareholders overwhelmingly approving both transactions and both receiving competition authority approval. The acquisition of Aquarius Platinum Limited was concluded on 12 April 2016. The acquisition of the Rustenburg assets remains subject to Section 11 approval for the transfer of mineral rights by the Department of Mineral Resources, which is anticipated in the second half of 2016.
Although Sibanye will only consolidate Aquarius’ operational and financial results from April 2016, it was pleasing to note a strong operational result for the March 2016 quarter during which Aquarius delivered record quarterly production from Kroondal and Mimosa and lower unit cash costs at all the operations. This production result is notable given the seasonal disruptions that generally occur during the first quarter of a calendar year. With the recent improvement in the rand PGM basket price, the outlook for Aquarius is positive.
Attributable production for the June 2016 quarter is forecast at 87,500oz (4E), at an average cash cost of R10,300/oz (4E). Attributable capital expenditure is forecast at approximately R95 million. Commenting on the quarter, Neal Froneman, Chief Executive of Sibanye said: “I am pleased with our start to the year, with the March 2016 quarter, generally positive, not only as a result of the much improved operational performance from our gold division, but also due to the steady progress with our platinum acquisitions. Consistent with its history the Aquarius’ operational performance was good and we are pleased to welcome the Aquarius team, under the leadership of Jean Nel into the Sibanye Group”.
“The constructive outcome of our engagement with organised labour is also significant. We have averted a potentially destructive strike at a fragile point for our industry and our economy and managed to secure stability for our company and all its stakeholders. The constructive manner in which this was achieved, with minimal disruption and value loss is extremely positive” added Froneman.
SVP Investor Relations
Sibanye Gold Limited
+27 83 453 4014
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FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements included in this announcement, as well as oral statements that may be made by Sibanye, or by officers, directors or employees acting on its behalf related to the subject matter hereof, constitute or are based on forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are preceded by, followed by or include the words “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “envisage”, “intend”, “plan”, “project”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “hope”, “can”, “is designed to” or similar phrases. These forward-looking statements involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sibanye, that could cause Sibanye’s actual results and outcomes to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, Sibanye’s ability to complete the transaction, Sibanye’s ability to successfully integrate the acquired assets with its existing operations, Sibanye’s ability to achieve anticipated efficiencies and other cost savings in connection with the transaction, the success of exploration and development activities and other risks. Sibanye undertakes no obligation to update publicly or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this announcement or to reflect any change in Sibanye’s expectations with regard thereto.