South African petrochemicals company [DATA SOL:Sasol Limited] reported a six per cent increase in first-half earnings on Monday, as higher sales and chemical prices helped offset the impact of falling oil prices.
The company said headline earnings per share increased to 32 rand, the middle of the range it flagged to the market. Sasol also cuts its interim dividend by 12.5 per cent, a move it had also previously signalled, to save cash in the current volatile environment.
Sasol, the world’s top maker of motor fuel from coal, said it changed its progressive dividend policy to a more fluid payout based on headline earnings. It declared an interim dividend of seven and per share.
(READ MORE: Sasol looks to save cash amidst falling oil price)
The company said it expected various initiatives to result in savings of four billion rand (332 million US dollars) “by financial year 2016 off a 2013 cost base.”
The company, which makes about 40 per cent of its earnings from oil, said it expects the average Brent crude oil price to be at least 30 per cent lower in the second half of its financial year compared to the first.