The mid-tier, integrated platinum group metals (PGM) producer saw an operating loss of 99 million rand for the six months ending 31 December 2013 from a profit of 266 million rand for the same period in 2012.

“The total comprehensive loss of 92.7 million rand for the reporting period is largely attributable to the protracted industrial action at the Zondereinde mine which started on 3 November 2013 and continued beyond the end of the six month reporting period. The industrial action at Zondereinde mine will have cost the group an estimated 750 million rand in unearned revenue for F2014,” [DATA NHM:Northam Platinum Limited] said.

“Platinum group metal sales from Zondereinde mine declined by 16.4 per cent to 4,620kg; this was partially offset by the contribution of metal sales from the Booysendal mine and, in combination with a higher average basket price compared to the previous period, contributed to a marginal increase of 3.7 per cent in group revenues to 2.3 billion rand.”

Sales revenue however, rose 3.7 per cent from 2.20 billion rand in the six months ended 31 December 2012 to 2.29 billion rand in the 2013 period. Investment revenue increased by 59.4 per cent from 17 million rand in 2012 to 27 million rand in 2013.

The platinum company also reported a loss before tax of 124 million rand in 2013 from a profit of 260 million rand in 2012, a headline loss of 169.2 per cent and a fully diluted loss per share of 169.9 per cent.

“Social and economic uncertainty coupled with labour turbulence is likely to continue to influence the long term sustainability of the platinum industry in the foreseeable future,” it said.

“Barring any disruptions to Northam’s operations in the second half of the financial year, the Zondereinde mine is expected to recover to a steady state of production and the Booysendal mine to continue its production build-up. The financial performance of the company for the full year however, will be negatively impacted by the 11 week strike which ended on 21 January 2014.”