JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater expects to swing to a profit in the first half of 2020, boosted by higher precious metals prices and a weaker rand currency, the miner said on Friday, sending its shares up sharply.
Shares in Sibanye, which said it remains positive about its performance in the second half of the year, were up 11.16% at 55.30 rand by 0836 GMT.
The precious metals producer, said headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to June is expected to be 350 cents compared with a loss per share of 54 cents a year earlier when it was hit by strikes.
Sibanye said the inclusion of the Marikana operations, higher metals prices and a weaker rand currency helped partially offset foreign exchange losses and the impact of COVID-19 lockdown regulations on output.
“Supported by a better operational outlook than for H1 2020 and with precious metals prices having recovered close to levels prior to the global COVID-19 economic lockdown, the outlook for H2 2020 is positive,” Sibanye said.
South African gold miners have rallied as investors rushed to buy shares in the export-oriented companies which do well when the Rand depreciates against the dollar.
The company said production from its South African gold operations during the half-year increased by 17% 403,621 ounces, while platinum group metal (PGM) output from South Africa was 5%higher year-on-year at 657,828 ounces.
By the end of July the South African PGM operations had a production run rate of between 70% and 75%, with gold operations at around 90%.