Sasol Limited Reviewed interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2012

JOHANNESBURG, March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Committed to excellence in all we do, Sasol (NYSE: SSL; JSE: SOL) is an international integrated energy and chemical company that leverages the talent and expertise of our more than 34 000 people working in 38 countries. We develop and commercialise technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity.

  • Sasol Synfuels' production up 10%
  • Operating profit up by 9% excluding once-offs
  • Headline earnings per share up by 2% to R24,01
  • Interim dividend of R5,70 per share
  • Cash flow from operations up by 6%
  • US projects progressed to front-end engineering and design phase
  • US dollar bond oversubscribed by 3,47 times

            

Segment report for the period ended









Turnover (R million)


Operating profit (R million)






full year

half year

half year


half year

half year

full year


30 Jun 12

31 Dec 11

31 Dec 12


31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12


Audited

Reviewed

Reviewed

Business unit analysis                   

Reviewed

Reviewed

Audited


133 814

63 057

71 002

South African energy cluster               

16 704

13 469

28 957


10 672

5 107

6 180

Mining                                      

1 301

1 002

2 287


6 931

3 292

4 077

Gas                                         

2 038

1 461

2 985


48 791

22 337

27 959

Synfuels                                   

12 458

9 909

22 095


67 420

32 321

32 786

Oil                                           

907

1 099

1 592


-

-

-

Other                                           

-

(2)

(2)


8 429

4 416

4 795

International energy cluster                  

528

1 154

(55)


5 318

2 910

2 986

Synfuels International                      

1 235

1 033

1 881


3 111

1 506

1 809

Petroleum International                     

(707)

121

(1 936)


94 752

47 162

48 571

Chemical cluster                               

11

4 339

6 500


20 081

9 398

10 510

Polymers                                  

(2 440)

546

716


18 914

9 082

9 826

Solvents                                       

48

1 115

1 403


37 698

19 493

18 417

Olefins & Surfactants                       

1 567

1 660

3 193


18 059

9 189

9 818

Other chemical businesses                     

836

1 018

1 188


8 598

4 205

4 410

Other businesses                            

1 691

1 514

1 356


245 593

118 840

128 778


18 934

20 476

36 758


(76 147)

(35 537)

(43 338)

Intercompany turnover





169 446

83 303

85 440





 

Overview
Advancing sustainably
Chief Executive Officer, David E. Constable says:
"We are entering a significant chapter in Sasol's history. The strategic mega-projects we advance in the medium term will serve to enhance the company's position as an international energy and chemicals player. We know that by focusing on the factors we can influence, in the near term, we will set ourselves up for greater success in the years ahead. For us, safety and the wellbeing of our people and the environment; enhanced operational performance; world-class project execution; cost reduction; and strengthened stakeholder relations remain paramount.

We have shown, time and again, that Sasol continues to be resilient in challenging times. Notwithstanding, ongoing global economic uncertainty, international socio-political instability and commodity market volatility, we continue to maintain a strong operational performance, while advancing our exciting growth projects in a measured and responsible manner. Through our high performing Sasol people working in tandem with our partners, service providers, suppliers, customers and host governments, we are committed to delivering long-term shareholder value responsibly and sustainably."

Interim results overview
Earnings attributable to shareholders for the six months ended 31 December 2012 declined by 13% to R12,1 billion from R13,9 billion in the prior year*. Headline earnings per share increased by 2% to R24,01 and earnings per share decreased by 13% to R20,10, over the same period.

Sasol recorded an operating profit of R18,9 billion for the period. Excluding the impact of once-off charges, amounting to R3,6 billion, operating profit increased by 9% compared with the prior year, on the back of a solid operational performance. The increase in operating profit, excluding the impact of once-off charges, was primarily due to increased sales volumes, underpinned by an 11% weaker average rand/US dollar exchange rate (R8,48/US$ for the six months ended 31 December 2012 compared with R7,63/US$ for the six months ended 31 December 2011), despite a marginally lower average crude oil price (average dated Brent was US$109,81/barrel at 31 December 2012 compared with US$111,41/barrel at 31 December 2011) and moderately lower product prices.

The operating profit in the current year was negatively impacted by once-off charges totalling R3,6 billion (31 December 2011: R0,3 billion). These items relate primarily to the partial impairments of our Arya Sasol Polymer Company (ASPC) investment and the Solvents Germany business of R1 974 million and R198 million, respectively, as well as the write off of an unsuccessful exploration well in Mozambique amounting to R428 million. In addition, included in the once-off charges is an amount of R1 015 million related to translation losses, primarily at our ASPC operations, resulting from the depreciation of the Iranian Rial against the US dollar. These once-off items also include a gain relating to the remeasurement to fair value of our existing shareholding in the Merisol business, which arose from the step up acquisition.

Sasol Synfuels delivered production for the period of 3,7 million tons (mt). The significant improvement in the overall production run-rate of the facility seen during the second half of the 2012 financial year has continued during this period. In light of the continuing weak European market conditions, our European chemical businesses' production was optimised to match lower demand and optimise margins. Production performance at our ASPC and ORYX gas-to-liquids (GTL) operations was strong and in line with our expectations.

* All comparisons refer to the prior year comparable period unless otherwise stated

Chief Financial Officer, Christine Ramon says:
"Our solid operational performance underpinned the continued strong cash flow generation across our businesses. We have demonstrated our commitment to a progressive dividend policy and to delivering value to shareholders, despite the significant impact of impairments and other once-off charges. Our strong balance sheet continues to position the company well to fund our attractive growth projects that are steadily advancing. We are comfortable that we will manage the long-term gearing of the company within our targeted range, taking into account the phasing of our US growth projects, a buffer for volatility and our progressive dividend policy."

Cash fixed costs, excluding once-off and growth costs and the impact of exchange rates, increased by 6,9% in real terms, due to a challenging South African cost environment, in respect of labour, maintenance and electricity costs. In order to contain the impact of these cost increases, we have successfully ramped up our electricity generation capacity to 67% of our own requirements. In addition to procurement and maintenance cost reduction strategies, we are actively analysing the cash fixed cost drivers in the group to identify opportunities where we can further reduce and contain our cost base sustainably, with a greater drive for shared services in the group.

The effective tax rate of 31,8% is higher than the prior year's effective tax rate of 29,3%. This resulted primarily from an increase in non-deductible expenses relating mainly to once-off charges.

Cash flow generated by operating activities was R21,4 billion compared with R22,7 billion in the prior year. Cash flow from operations increased by 6%, however this was offset by increased working capital, both as a result of price and volume effects. Capital investments for the period amounted to R14,4 billion.

Taking into account the ongoing strength of our financial position and current capital investment plans, as well as the progressive dividend policy, management has recommended and the board has approved the interim dividend. This approach remains in line with our commitment consistently to return sustainable value to shareholders.

Delivering on growth and operations excellence
We are making progress on the delivery of our project pipeline and are pleased to see the following:

  • Looking at our upstream activities:
  • In December 2012, the Sasol and Talisman Montney Partnership approved the annual work programme and budget for the 2013 calendar year in respect of our Canadian shale gas assets. The capital expenditure for the 2013 financial year is expected to be approximately CAD500 million, including the Talisman carry amount.
  • During the period, two major compression projects were advanced to ensure that the Pande and Temane natural gas fields, as well as the facilities at the Central Processing Facility (CPF), in Mozambique, will be able to meet the anticipated market ramp-up resulting from the 183 million gigajoules CPF expansion.
  • An amount of US$168,2 million has been approved for the development of the South East Etame and North Tchibala projects, as well as the expansion project of the Main Etame field in Gabon. This investment will ensure that we will be able to profitably mature additional discovered hydrocarbon resources in the permit area and extend the life of our assets in Gabon. The capital will be spent between the 2013 and 2016 financial years.
  • In October 2012, the work programme and budget for the drilling of the nine corehole exploration programme at our coal bed methane assets in Botswana,during the 2013 financial year, was approved. Drilling commenced on 2 December 2012.
  • The Mozambique Inhassoro light oil appraisal well has been on a long-term test since March 2012 and will be shut in, as per contractual obligation, at the end of February 2013. The well has cumulatively produced 200 000 barrels of light oil. We now have, with effect from 25 February 2013, up to 24 months to submit a Field Development Plan.
  • Turning to our growth projects:
  • On 3 December 2012, we announced that we will proceed with the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phases of an integrated, world-scale ethane cracker and downstream derivatives units and a 96 000 barrels per day (bbl/d) GTL facility in the US:
  • The ethane cracker will produce 1,5 million tons of ethylene that will be used to produce a range of ethylene derivatives. The total project costs of the ethane cracker and downstream derivative units are estimated at between US$5 billion and US$7 billion. We expect beneficial operation for the ethane cracker to be achieved during the 2017 calendar year.
  • The GTL facility, a first of its kind in the United States, will produce four million tons per annum of high quality fuel and other value-added products. Total project costs are estimated at between US$11 billion and US$14 billion. The GTL project will be delivered in two phases after the ethane cracker, with each phase comprising at least 48 000 bbl/d. At this stage, the final investment decision for the US GTL project is expected to be taken in 18 to 24 months, appropriately phased after the final investment decision for the US ethane cracker.
  • As part of FEED, we will be assessing in detail ways in which to manage and mitigate potential risks associated with executing these mega-projects, as well as the phasing of the projects to enable us to meet our internal gearing targets and our progressive dividend policy before a final investment decision is taken.
  • The feasibility study to determine the technical and commercial viability of a GTL facility in Western Canada was successfully completed. In accordance with the need to prioritise our growth portfolio, a decision was made to phase this investment opportunity after the integrated US GTL and ethane cracker complex. A FEED decision will, therefore, be considered at a later stage.
  • The FEED activities for the Uzbekistan GTL plant, which commenced in October 2011, are progressing well. FEED activities, including the assessment of project financing, are expected to be completed during the second half of the 2013 calendar year.
  • In Nigeria, the Escravos GTL project is progressing steadily, with commissioning and start-up activities. The plant is expected to be in operation towards the end of the 2013 calendar year.
  • Our foundation businesses:
  • The Sasol Synfuels growth programme is progressing, with the start of installation of the gas heated heat exchange reformers (GHHERs). The progress on this project will be closely monitored. Once the first pair of GHHERs is installed and operational, the site will have increased flexibility and the timing of the second set of GHHERs installation will be planned to maximise volumes. The last of the four new gasifiers was successfully commissioned in September 2012.

The complex brownfields volatile organic compound abatement project continues, along with the replacement of tar tanks and separators as well as the coal tar filtration east project.

  • The R3,5 billion Thubelisha Shaft at the Twistdraai Colliery in Mpumalanga, South Africa, has largely been completed within budget. We anticipate that all work, including gaining access to areas around the devolatized coal section, will be finalised in the third quarter of the 2013 calendar year. The development of the Impumelelo and Shondoni Collieries, which are part of Sasol Mining's R14 billion mine replacement programme, are progressing. Despite shaft sinking challenges due to productivity at the Impumelelo Colliery, it is anticipated that the project will be completed within budget during the fourth quarter of the 2014 calendar year. Construction of the Shondoni Colliery is progressing and we expect that the first development section will start opening up the underground area during the first quarter of the 2014 calendar year. Beneficial operation in respect of this colliery is anticipated for the 2015 calendar year.
  • Construction on the FT wax expansion facility in Sasolburg, South Africa, continues to progress. The commissioning of the new Slurry Bed Reactor, which is critically important for the capacity expansion, is expected to take place at the end of the 2013 calendar year. The Sasol board originally approved a budget of R8,4 billion in respect of the total project, which is expected to be sufficient for completion of phase 1 as well as pre-investment of common facilities of phase 2. The capital cost of phase 2 of the project is currently being assessed together with other key project parameters. There could be a further delay in the previously announced beneficial operation dates for phase 2 with additional cost impacts.
  • Progress on the construction of our R1,9 billion ethylene purification unit project in Sasolburg, and the R1,3 billion C3 stabilisation project in Secunda continues. These projects are expected to be in operation in the second half of the 2013 calendar year and in the middle of the 2014 calendar year, respectively.
  • During the period, through Sasol New Energy (SNE), we continued to advance the development of our US$246 million gas-fired power generation plant in Mozambique, in partnership with the country's state-owned power utility Electricidade de Moçambique at Ressano Garcia. All conditions precedent to a final funding and investment decision were finalised and ground works have commenced on site. Beneficial operation is expected during the first half of the 2014 calendar year.
  • The Secunda Natref integration pipeline, which facilitates the transfer of liquid fuels components between the two facilities, was commissioned in December 2012, below the approved budgeted amount of R1 billion.

Doing business responsibly
We continued to deliver on our broader sustainability contributions during the period:

  • Our gas engine power plant in Sasolburg successfully started operations and began producing electricity at full capacity by the end of December 2012, three months ahead of schedule and almost 20% below budget. The plant, which uses natural gas as feedstock, has an operating capacity of 140 megawatts (MW) and marks a significant step in boosting our own power generation capacity and improving energy efficiency. In addition, this plant contributes to the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions intensity, while easing the load on the national grid for the benefit of the South African communities.
  • SNE continues to progress alternative energy studies and projects, including electricity generation from natural gas as feedstock, solar-based renewable energy projects and liquefied natural gas opportunities. In addition, we continue to advance our in-house knowledge on carbon capture, utilisation and storage as well as underground coal gasification (UCG).
  • Our external water conservation partnerships have started yielding results, with the first water savings of R2 million being achieved in the Emfuleni Municipality in the Sasolburg region. The concept of water off-setting has been positively received by the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs and further development of a water off-setting policy by the Department of Water Affairs is being supported by SNE.
  • As at previous United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conferences, we were represented at COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, and provided technical input to various working groups considering sustainable climate change solutions. Our joint venture, ORYX GTL, was one of the key sponsors supplying fuel to branded buses which transported delegates to the various conference venues.
  • In terms of South African climate change policy, our experts are participating in several working groups, together with the South African government and other stakeholders, to develop the standards and guidelines which would give effect to the country's climate change response policy, which was published in 2011. We continue to engage stakeholders on climate change-related policies and initiatives, to find workable and sustainable solutions to the climate change challenge.
  • During the period, we paid R15 billion in direct and indirect taxes to the South African government. Sasol remains one of the largest corporate taxpayers in South Africa, contributing significantly to the South African economy.
  • Sasol supports the move to a lower-carbon economy, taking into account South Africa's critical developmental challenges. The South African Finance Minister's proposal is for a R120/ton carbon tax with effect from 1 January 2015, increasing by 10% per annum for five years. Coal-to-liquids and GTL will receive a 60% basic exemption. An updated policy paper is expected at the end of March 2013. Implementation of a carbon tax, as currently proposed, cannot proceed without a full understanding of its consequences on the economy in the form of aspects such as employment, competitiveness and trade measures. Sasol will continue to engage with the South African government on carbon taxes.
  • The safety incident recordable case rate (RCR) for employees and service providers, including injuries and illnesses, of 0,36 at 31 December 2012 has improved compared with the RCR rate of 0,39 at 30 June 2012. Notably, our RCR for employees and service providers, excluding illnesses, of 0,32 at 31 December 2012  (30 June 2012: 0,35) is at its lowest level in our recent history.
  • During the period, we committed to R800 million over the next four years to the municipalities in the Sasolburg and Secunda regions as part of our commitment to enhance development in these areas.

Our operations deliver solid performance

South African energy cluster
Sasol Mining – higher sales volumes and prices to Sasol Synfuels
Operating profit of R1 301 million was 30% higher than the prior year. Production volumes were down 1% compared to those of the prior year due to some challenging geological conditions as some collieries near the end of their life of mine. Operating profit was supported by higher sales prices and volumes to Sasol Synfuels as well as the weaker rand/US dollar exchange rate, offset by lower US dollar export coal prices and volumes.

Sasol Gas – improved sales prices and volumes
Operating profit increased by 39% to R2 038 million compared to the prior year mainly as a result of higher sales prices and increased demand for volumes, which supported Sasol's initiatives to increase energy efficiencies and reduce carbon emission intensity.

Sasol Synfuels – production volumes up by 10%
Sasol Synfuels' operating profit increased by 26% to R12 458 million compared to the prior year primarily due to a weaker average rand/US dollar exchange rate resulting in favourable product prices and margins. The commissioning of new equipment, notably the four additional gasifiers, as well as the impact of the 17th reformer, coupled with plant stability, resulted in production volumes being 10% higher than the prior year. Cash unit costs increased by 13% compared to the prior year, due to higher feedstock prices (which are largely internal to the group), as well as increased maintenance and energy costs, which negatively impacted operating profit. Sasol Synfuels completed a successful planned shutdown in September 2012.

Sasol Oil – higher margins despite lower volumes
Operating profit decreased by 17% to R907 million compared to the prior year primarily due to lower production volumes at the Natref refinery resulting from an extended planned shutdown and late start-up of the refinery. These lower volumes were somewhat offset by the higher volumes from Sasol Synfuels, however, sales volumes were lower than the prior year. Higher marketing and refining margins contributed positively to operating profits for the period.

International energy cluster
Sasol Synfuels International (SSI) – ORYX GTL excels in performance
SSI's operating profit increased by 20% to R1 235 million compared to the prior year. This was mainly due to the contribution of the ORYX GTL plant in Qatar on the back of higher volumes, supported by the weaker rand/US dollar exchange rate. The ORYX GTL plant, which has maintained an RCR of zero, produced above 90% of design capacity ahead of a planned statutory shutdown that started in February 2013.

Sasol Petroleum International (SPI) – Mozambique volume growth, however low North American gas prices impact Canadian asset performance
SPI recorded an operating loss of R707 million compared with an operating profit of R121 million in the prior year. Oil and gas production increased by 25% to 11,2 million barrels oil equivalent (mmboe) compared to the prior period. The increase is mainly attributable to higher production from the Mozambican (18%) and Canadian (90%) ventures. Production from Gabon remained stable despite the ongoing field decline. During the current period, our Canadian operations produced 2,2 mmboe (31 December 2011: 1,1 mmboe) of natural gas.

However, the positive impact of the increased production was offset by higher depreciation of CAD94 million related to our Canadian shale gas assets, as well as the write off of dry well Mupeji-1 in Mozambique amounting to R428 million.

Chemical cluster
Sasol Polymers – margin pressure and negative impact of Arya impairment
Sasol Polymers South Africa recorded an operating loss of R1 187 million. Sales and production volumes in our South African polymers business were 10% and 9% respectively, higher than the prior year, despite the slow recovery in the polymer market, which was exacerbated by the road freight and mining industries strike action. Margins continue to be squeezed in the South African polymers business, where feedstock price increases outweighed the increases in selling prices. We have commenced with a business turnaround programme in our South African operations and are positive that this will begin yielding positive results.

Our international operations contributed R1 736 million to operating profit, excluding the partial impairment of our investment in ASPC of R1 974 million and translation losses of R1 015 million, relating primarily to our ASPC operations, mainly due to the depreciation of the Iranian Rial against the US dollar. ASPC achieved a capacity utilisation rate of 84%. The divestiture of our investment in ASPC is continuing.

Sasol Solvents – higher sales volumes but trading environment remains challenging
Operating profit decreased to R48 million compared to an operating profit of R1 115 million in the prior year. Production volumes increased by 8% compared to the prior year, despite protracted road freight industrial action in South Africa and production cut-backs, mainly in Europe, due to market constraints. While sales volumes increased, these benefits were partially offset by lower US dollar selling prices and contracting margins, resulting from continued high feedstock prices over this period. Operating profit includes a partial impairment of R198 million related to our German operations.

Sasol Olefins & Surfactants (Sasol O&S) – European operations under margin pressure
Operating profit decreased by 6% to R1 567 million compared to the prior year. While our US operations continued to benefit from the low US ethane prices, our European based businesses came under increased pressure as a result of reduced volumes due to softer demand and lower lauric oil prices, coupled with continued high petrochemical feedstock prices.

Other chemical businesses – Sasol Nitro delivers strong performance despite difficulties in explosives business
Operating profit in our other chemical businesses decreased by 18% to R836 million compared to the prior year. The operating profit of our Sasol Wax business has remained flat compared to the prior year on the back of improved production volumes in the wax markets, coupled with increased sales of hard wax from South Africa.

The Sasol Nitro business delivered solid financial results. This was despite the negative effects of labour unrest in the mining sector and significantly higher feedstock cost in the fertiliser business. Operating profit for the prior year includes a once-off profit of R120 million resulting from the sale of Sasol Nitro's Phalaborwa assets and certain of its downstream fertiliser businesses.

Competition law compliance
We continue to evaluate and enhance our compliance programmes and controls in general, and our competition law compliance programme and controls, in particular. As a consequence of these programmes and controls, including monitoring and review activities, we have also adopted appropriate remedial and/or mitigating steps, and made disclosures on material findings, as and when appropriate.

The South African Competition Commission (the Commission) is conducting investigations into several industries in which Sasol operates, including the piped gas, petroleum, coal mining, fertilisers and polymer industries. We continue to cooperate with the Commission in these investigations. To the extent appropriate, further announcements will be made in future.

As part of its investigation into the polymer industry, the Commission has contended that the prices at which Sasol Polymers supplies propylene and polypropylene are excessive. Sasol Polymers does not agree with the Commission's assessment and is contesting the Commission's allegations. The Competition Tribunal hearing in respect of this matter is scheduled to commence on 13 May 2013.

The Commission has referred allegations of price-fixing and market division against Chevron SA, Engen, Shell SA, Total SA, Sasol Limited, BP SA and the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) to the South African Competition Tribunal for adjudication. The Commission is alleging that the respondents exchanged commercially sensitive information, mainly through SAPIA, in order to ensure that their respective prices for diesel followed the Wholesale List Selling Price published by the South African Department of Energy. This is not a new matter and Sasol began engaging with the Commission in this regard in 2008 as part of its group-wide competition law compliance review, which preceded the Commission's investigation into the liquid fuels sector. Sasol has reviewed the Commission's referral documents and does not agree with the Commission's allegations. Accordingly, Sasol will take the appropriate legal steps available to it.

US dollar bond offering a success
Gearing at 31 December 2012 of 6,6% (30 June 2012: 2,7%) remains low. On 7 November 2012, we were very pleased to announce our successful US$1 billion bond issuance. The bond, with a tenure of 10 years and a fixed coupon rate of 4,5%, was oversubscribed by 3,47 times. This coupon is the lowest US dollar fixed coupon rate achieved by a South African domiciled corporate (non-state owned enterprise) with this term. The proceeds from this offering will be used for general corporate purposes, including the funding of our capital investments. The low gearing is supported by the continued healthy cash flow generation, particularly from our foundation businesses. This low level of gearing is expected to be maintained in the short term, but is likely to return to within our targeted range of 20% to 40% in the medium term, taking into account our growth programme as well as our progressive dividend policy.

Profit outlook* – strong management focus on improved operational performance and cost reduction
We expect the global environment and South African economy to maintain a modest recovery into the financial year. However, weakening demand in Europe and lower growth in emerging markets and the US remain a concern. Crude oil prices are expected to remain stable over the near term. Product prices are expected to remain volatile. The resolution of the European debt crisis and concerns regarding the US debt ceiling remain uncertain. The rand/US dollar exchange rate remains one of the biggest external factors impacting our profitability.

We expect an overall solid production performance for the 2013 financial year with our production guidance remaining unchanged:

  • Sasol Synfuels' volumes will be between 7,2 and 7,4 million tons;
  • The full year average utilisation rate at ORYX GTL in Qatar is expected to be between 80% and 90% of nameplate capacity due to a planned shutdown;
  • Full year production at ASPC in Iran will be approximately 75% to 80% of nameplate capacity due to feedstock constraints; and
  • Our shale gas venture in Canada will continue to show flat volumes in line with the prior year.

We continue to actively engage with an interested party to divest from our share in ASPC. Further losses relating to the foreign currency translation reserve of approximately US$100 million may be recognised in income once we finally divest from ASPC. There may be further impairments linked to the fair value of the asset as a result of a deteriorating Iranian environment and the accounting requirement to continue recognising operating profits, which might not be recuperated through the divestiture.

We remain on track to deliver on our expectations for improved operational performance. As costs are incurred to improve plant stability and the weaker rand continues to exert pressure on our South African businesses, we expect that our normalised fixed costs will increase above the South African producers' price index (PPI) inflation. Cost reduction is a specific target within our short-term incentive scheme and, accordingly, management continues to focus on controllable cost elements. The macroeconomic conditions continue to be volatile, impacting our assumptions in respect of a stable crude oil price and volatile product prices, stronger refining margins as well as the weaker rand/US dollar exchange rate. We continue to focus on factors within our control: volume growth, margin improvement and cost reduction. The current volatility and uncertainty of global markets and geopolitical activities makes it difficult to be more precise in this outlook statement.

* In accordance with standard practice, it is noted that this information has not been reviewed nor reported on by the company's auditors.

Acquisitions and disposals of businesses
During December 2012, Sasol Gas began the process of disposing of its 49% share in Spring Lights Gas. Negotiations with external parties, as well as approval by the South African Competition Commission, are expected to be concluded within the next 12 months. In addition, Sasol Oil disposed of its bitumen business, operated by Tosas, for a consideration of R120 million. This disposal is subject to the South African Competition Commission's approval.

In December 2012, Sasol acquired the remaining 50% shareholding in Merisol for a purchase consideration of US$85 million.

Subsequent events
Activities to further the potential disposal of our investment in ASPC are progressing well. We have concluded a memorandum of understanding with an interested party regarding the disposal of ASPC. With effect from 28 February 2013, the investment is classified as a disposal group held-for-sale. Further announcements will be made once more progress has been made.

Declaration of cash dividend number 67
An interim gross cash dividend of South African 570 cents per ordinary share (31 December 2011: 570 cents per share) has been declared for the six months ended 31 December 2012. The interim cash dividend is payable on the ordinary shares and the Sasol BEE ordinary shares. The dividend has been declared out of retained earnings (income reserves). The South African dividend withholding tax rate is 15% and no credits in terms of secondary tax on companies have been utilised. At the declaration date there are 646 283 316 Sasol ordinary, 25 547 081 Sasol preferred ordinary and 2 838 565 Sasol BEE ordinary shares in issue. The net dividend amount payable to shareholders, who are not exempt from the dividend withholding tax, is 484,50000 cents per share, while the dividend amount payable to shareholders who are exempt from dividend withholding tax is 570,0 cents per share.

The salient dates for holders of ordinary shares and BEE ordinary shares are:
Declaration date
Monday, 11 March 2013

Last day for trading to qualify for and participate in the interim dividend (cum dividend)
Friday, 5 April 2013

Trading ex dividend commences
Monday, 8 April 2013

Record date
Friday, 12 April 2013

Dividend payment date
Monday, 15 April 2013

The salient dates for holders of our American Depository Receipts are 1:
Ex dividend on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Record date
Friday, 12 April 2013

Approximate date of currency conversion
Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Approximate dividend payment date
Thursday, 25 April 2013

1. All dates are approximate as the NYSE sets the record date after receipt of the dividend declaration.

On Monday, 15 April 2013, dividends due to certificated shareholders on the South African registry will either be electronically transferred to shareholders' bank accounts or, in the absence of suitable mandates, dividend cheques will be posted to such shareholders. Shareholders who hold dematerialised shares will have their accounts held by their CSDP or broker credited on Monday, 15 April 2013.

Share certificates may not be dematerialised or re-materialised between Monday, 8 April 2013 and Friday, 12 April 2013, both days inclusive.

On behalf of the board

Hixonia Nyasulu
Chairman

David E. Constable
Chief Executive Officer

Christine Ramon
Chief Financial Officer

Sasol Limited
11 March 2013

The interim financial statements are presented on a condensed consolidated basis.

 

 

 

Statement of financial position

at


31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12


Reviewed

Reviewed

Audited



Restated1


Rm

Rm

Rm

Assets

Property, plant and equipment                                             

99 149

86 566

95 872

Assets under construction                                                 

38 452

35 437

33 585

Goodwill                                                                     

851

792

787

Other intangible assets                                                     

1 445

1 104

1 214

Investments in associates                                                  

2 487

3 718

2 560

Post-retirement benefit assets                                                

384

276

313

Deferred tax assets                                                        

1 377

1 241

1 514

Other long-term assets                                                     

2 249

2 997

2 437

Non-current assets                                                       

146 394

132 131

138 282

Assets held for sale                                                         

238

343

18

Inventories                                                               

24 069

21 712

20 668

Trade and other receivables                                               

26 128

23 975

26 299

Short-term financial assets                                                   

626

408

426

Cash restricted for use                                                    

5 525

7 817

5 314

Cash                                                                       

22 622

8 857

12 746

Current assets                                                            

79 208

63 112

65 471

Total assets                                                             

225 602

195 243

203 753

Equity and liabilities

Shareholders' equity                                                     

132 428

119 391

125 234

Non-controlling interest                                                   

3 294

2 788

3 080

Total equity                                                             

135 722

122 179

128 314

Long-term debt                                                            

21 402

14 162

12 828

Long-term financial liabilities                                               

74

39

38

Long-term provisions                                                      

10 991

9 405

10 518

Post-retirement benefit obligations                                         

7 785

6 150

6 872

Long-term deferred income                                                    

413

404

455

Deferred tax liabilities                                                  

14 863

13 316

13 839

Non-current liabilities                                                   

55 528

43 476

44 550

Liabilities in disposal groups held for sale

20

36

-

Short-term debt                                                            

9 129

3 097

3 072

Short-term financial liabilities                                             

123

127

135

Other current liabilities                                                 

24 245

26 044

27 460

Bank overdraft                                                               

835

284

222

Current liabilities                                                        

34 352

29 588

30 889

Total equity and liabilities                                             

225 602

195 243

203 753


1 The groups' accounting policy in respect of employee benefits was amended during the year ended 30 June 2012 due to the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19, Employee Benefits. This change in accounting policy was applied retrospectively and the 31 December 2011 comparative figures were restated. As a result, post-retirement benefit obligations increased by R1 006 million at 31 December 2011 and the post-retirement benefit assets decreased by R626 million at 31 December 2011.

 

 

Income statement

for the period ended



half year

half year

full year


31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12


Reviewed

Reviewed

Audited


Rm 

Rm 

Rm

Turnover                                                                      

85 440

83 303

169 446

Cost of sales and services rendered                                         

(53 010)

(53 936)

(111 042)

Gross profit                                                                  

32 430

29 367

58 404

Other operating income                                                            

609

613

1 416

Marketing and distribution expenditure                                       

(3 267)

(3 589)

(6 701)

Administrative expenditure                                                    

(6 373)

(5 331)

(11 672)

Other operating expenditure                                                  

(4 465)

(584)

(4 689)

 Effect of crude oil hedges                                                       

(7)

50

214

 Share-based payment expenses                                                  

(439)

(721)

(691)

 Effect of remeasurement items                                               

(2 621)

(303)

(1 860)

 Translation (losses)/gains                                                    

(299)

1 642

243

 Other expenditure                                                           

(1 099)

(1 252)

(2 595)

Operating profit                                                              

18 934

20 476

36 758

Finance income                                                                   

379

428

796

Share of profits of associates (net of tax)                                      

204

269

479

Finance expenses                                                             

(1 033)

(972)

(2 030)

Profit before tax                                                              

18 484

20 201

36 003

Taxation                                                                     

(5 876)

(5 927)

(11 746)

Profit for the period                                                         

12 608

14 274

24 257

Attributable to

Owners of Sasol Limited                                                       

12 157

13 894

23 583

Non-controlling interest in subsidiaries                                         

451

380

674


12 608

14 274

24 257

Earnings per share                                                              

Rand  

Rand  

Rand

Basic earnings per share                                                       

20,10

23,05

39,10

Diluted earnings per share1                                                    

20,06

22,91

38,95


1 Diluted earnings per share are calculated taking the Sasol Share Incentive Scheme and Sasol Inzalo share transaction into account.

 

 

Statement of comprehensive income

for the period ended



half year 

half year

full year


31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12


Reviewed

Reviewed

Audited



Restated1


Rm

Rm

Rm

Profit for the period                                                         

12 608

14 274

24 257

Other comprehensive income, net of tax

Items that can be subsequently reclassified to the income statement           

2 127

4 600

4 101

Effect of translation of foreign operations                                   

2 111

4 575

4 063

Effect of cash flow hedges                                                       

17

38

41

Investments available-for-sale                                                    

5

(4)

(3)

Tax on items that can be subsequently reclassified to the income

statement                                                                       

(6)

(9)

-

Items that cannot be subsequently reclassified to the income

statement                                                                     

(225)

(634)

(821)

Actuarial losses on post-retirement benefit obligations                        

(324)

(841)

(1 195)

Tax on items that cannot be subsequently reclassified to the income

statement                                                                        

99

207

374

Total comprehensive income for the period                                    

14 510

18 240

27 537

Attributable to

Owners of Sasol Limited                                                      

14 060

17 853

26 853

Non-controlling interests in subsidiaries                                       

450

387

684


14 510

18 240

27 537

1 The groups' accounting policy in respect of employee benefits was amended during the year ended 30 June 2012 due to the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19, Employee Benefits. This change in accounting policy was applied retrospectively and the 31 December 2011 comparative figures were restated. As a result, total comprehensive income decreased by R634 million as at 31 December 2011.


 

 

 

Statement of changes in equity

for the period ended



half year

half year

full year


31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12


Reviewed

Reviewed

Audited



Restated1



Rm

Rm 

Rm

Opening balance                                                   

128 314

109 860

109 860

Shares issued during the period                                       

227

217

325

Share-based payment expenses                                          

193

240

485

Acquisition of businesses                                            

(20)

-

-

Transactions with non-controlling shareholders in

subsidiaries                                                           

13

-

101

Total comprehensive income for the period                          

14 510

18 240

27 537

Dividends paid                                                    

(7 267)

(6 090)

(9 600)

Dividends paid to non-controlling shareholders in

subsidiaries                                                        

(248)

(288)

(394)

Closing balance                                                   

135 722

122 179

128 314

Comprising

Share capital                                                      

28 211

27 876

27 984

Share repurchase programme                                        

(2 641)

(2 641)

(2 641)

Sasol Inzalo share transaction                                   

(22 054)

(22 054)

(22 054)

Retained earnings                                                 

117 437

106 368

112 547

Share-based payment reserve                                         

8 702

8 264

8 509

Foreign currency translation reserve                                

4 232

2 655

2 137

Actuarial gains and losses                                        

(1 479)

(1 067)

(1 250)

Investment fair value reserve                                          

19

2

15

Cash flow hedge accounting reserve                                      

1

(12)

(13)

Shareholders' equity                                              

132 428

119 391

125 234

Non-controlling interest in subsidiaries                            

3 294

2 788

3 080

Total equity                                                      

135 722

122 179

128 314


1 The groups' accounting policy in respect of employee benefits was amended during the year ended 30 June 2012 due to the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19, Employee Benefits. This change in accounting policy was applied retrospectively and the 31 December 2011 comparative figures were restated. As a result, total shareholders' equity decreased by R1 114 million as at 31 December 2011.

 

Statement of cash flows

for the period ended



half year

half year

full year


31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12


Reviewed

Reviewed

Audited


Rm

Rm

Rm

Cash receipts from customers                                      

86 252

83 633

168 934

Cash paid to suppliers and employees                           

(64 817)

(60 975)

(121 033)

Cash generated by operating activities                           

21 435

22 658

47 901

  Cash flow from operations                                      

27 461

25 946

50 172

  Increase in working capital                                   

(6 026)

(3 288)

(2 271)

Finance income received                                              

564

639

1 149

Finance expenses paid                                             

(410)

(343)

(666)

Tax paid                                                        

(4 745)

(5 163)

(10 760)

Dividends paid                                                  

(7 267)

(6 090)

(9 600)

Cash retained from operating activities                           

9 577

11 701

28 024

Additions to non-current assets                                

(14 350)

(14 540)

(29 160)

Acquisition of businesses                                         

(721)

-

-

Acquisition of interests in joint ventures                            

-

(28)

(24)

Disposal of businesses                                                

-

33

713

Additional investments in associate                               

(199)

(80)

(81)

Other net cash flows from investing activities                      

906

(36)

936

Cash utilised in investing activities                          

(14 364)

(14 651)

(27 616)

Share capital issued                                                

227

217

325

Contributions from non-controlling shareholders                      

27

-

11

Dividends paid to non-controlling shareholders                    

(248)

(288)

(394)

Increase/(decrease) in long-term debt                             

7 522

(913)

(859)

Increase/(decrease) in short-term debt                            

6 513

1 503

(112)

Cash effect of financing activities                              

14 041

519

(1 029)

Translation effects on cash and cash equivalents of foreign

operations                                                          

249

1 011

649

Increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents                   

9 503

(1 420)

28

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year                   

17 838

17 810

17 810

Cash in disposal groups held for sale                              

(29)

-

-

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year                         

27 312

16 390

17 838

 

 

Salient features

for the period ended




half year

half year

full year



31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12

Selected ratios

Return on equity                                                    

%

19,3*

25,8*

20,3

Return on total assets                                              

%

18,6*

23,9*

20,0

Operating profit margin                                             

%

22,2

24,6

21,7

Finance expense cover                                           

times

47,6

61,7

57,3

Dividend cover                                                  

times

3,5

4,1

2,3

* Annualised

Share statistics

Total shares in issue                                         

million

674,6

672,5

673,2

Sasol ordinary shares in issue                                

million

646,2

644,1

644,8

Treasury shares (share repurchase programme)                  

million

8,8

8,8

8,8

Weighted average number of shares                             

million

604,9

602,7

603,2

Diluted weighted average number of shares                     

million

616,5

615,0

616,2

Share price (closing)                                            

Rand

362,80

385,50

342,40

Market capitalisation

- Sasol ordinary shares                                          

Rm

234 441

248 300

220 788

- Sasol BEE ordinary shares                                       

Rm

821

710

686

Net asset value per share                                      

Rand

219,72

198,79

208,27

Dividend per share                                             

Rand

5,70

5,70

17,50

 - interim                                                     

Rand

5,70

5,70

5,70

 - final                                                       

Rand

-

-

11,80

Other financial information

Total debt (including bank overdraft)

- interest bearing                                               

Rm

30 817

16 895

15 596

- non-interest bearing                                           

Rm

549

648

526

Finance expense capitalised                                      

Rm

148

13

24

Capital commitments                                              

Rm

64 299

49 692

46 140

 - authorised and contracted                                      

Rm

58 335

46 973

50 665

 - authorised, not yet contracted                                

Rm

43 622

33 892

28 621

 - less expenditure to date                                      

Rm

(37 658)

(31 173)

(33 146)

Guarantees and contingent liabilities

- total amount                                                   

Rm

34 130

39 073

25 299

- liability included in the statement of financial position      

Rm

19 563

11 401

11 194

Significant items in operating profit

- employee costs                                                 

Rm

10 213

9 182

19 921

- depreciation and amortisation of non-current assets            

Rm

5 445

4 393

9 651

- share-based payment expenses                                   

Rm

439

721

691

 Sasol share incentive schemes                                   

Rm

248

490

221

 Sasol Inzalo share transaction                                  

Rm

191

231

470

 



half year

half year

full year



31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12

Effective tax rate                                                                

%

31,8

29,3

32,6

Number of employees                                                            

number

34 857

34 626

34 916

Average crude oil price - dated Brent

US$/barrel

109,81

111,41

112,42

Average rand/US$ exchange rate                                            

1US$ = Rand

8,48

7,63

7,78

Closing rand/US$ exchange rate                                            

1US$ = Rand

8,46

8,09

8,17



1 The increase in the effective tax rate from 29,3% to 31,8% resulted primarily from the increase in non-deductible expenses related to the impairment of Arya Sasol Polymer Company and other once-off items, compared with the prior year.

 



half year

half year

full year



31 Dec 12

31 Dec 11

30 Jun 12

Reconciliation of headline earnings 


Rm

Rm

Rm

Profit for the year attributable to owners of Sasol Limited


12 157

13 894

23 583

 Effect of remeasurement items                                                                


2 621

303

1 860

  Impairment of assets

  - impairment of investment in Arya Sasol Polymer Company


1 974

-

-

  - other impairments                                                                            


333

208

1 642

  Reversal of impairment                                                                       


(13)

(23)

(12)

  Profit on acquisition of business                                                            


(245)

(120)

(354)

  Profit on disposal of associate                                                               


-

(6)

(7)

  Profit on disposal of assets                                                                    


7

(4)

(138)

  Scrapping of non-current assets                                                               


137

240

459

  Write off of unsuccessful exploration wells                                                   


428

8

270

Tax effects and non-controlling interests


(256)

(36)

61

Headline earnings                                                                            


14 522

14 161

25 504

Remeasurement items per above

Mining                                                                                           


2

54

61

Gas                                                                                                


-


11

Synfuels                                                                                         


43

108

238

Oil                                                                                              


60

4

14

Synfuels International                                                                           


(7)

33

34

Petroleum International                                                                        


449

9

1 609

Polymers                                                                                       


1 988

45

62

Solvents                                                                                         


243

61

83

Olefins & Surfactants                                                                             


28

102

(179)

Other chemical businesses                                                                       


2

(119)

(94)

 Nitro                                                                                             


8

(113)

(88)

Wax                                                                                                


2

(1)

(2)

 Infrachem                                                                                     


(12)

5

8

 Merisol                                                                                         


4

(10)

(12)

Other businesses                                                                             


(187)

6

21

Remeasurement items                                                                            


2 621

303

1 860

Headline earnings per share                                                     

Rand          

24,01

23,50

42,28

Diluted headline earnings per share

Rand          

23,89

23,34

42,07

The reader is referred to the definitions contained in the 2012 Sasol Limited annual financial statements.

Basis of preparation and accounting policies

The condensed consolidated interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2012 have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34 Interim Financial Reporting, Listings Requirements of the JSE Limited, the SAICA Financial Reporting Guides as issued by the Accounting Practices Committee and Financial Reporting Pronouncements as issued by the Financial Reporting Standards Council, as well as the South African Companies Act, 2008, as amended.

The accounting policies applied in the condensed consolidated interim financial results are consistent with those applied for the year ended 30 June 2012 and are in terms of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board.

The condensed consolidated interim financial results do not include all the disclosure required for complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS.

These condensed consolidated interim financial results have been prepared in accordance with the historic cost convention except that certain items, including derivative instruments, liabilities for cash-settled share-based payment schemes, financial assets at fair value through profit or loss and available-for-sale financial assets, are stated at fair value.

The condensed consolidated interim financial results are presented in South African rand, which is Sasol Limited's functional and presentation currency.

Christine Ramon CA(SA), Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for this set of financial results and has supervised the preparation thereof in conjunction with the Executive: Group Finance, Paul Victor CA(SA).

Related party transactions

The group, in the ordinary course of business, entered into various sale and purchase transactions on an arm's length basis at market rates with related parties.

Significant changes in contingent liabilities since 30 June 2012

As a result of the fine imposed on Sasol Wax GmbH in October 2008 by the European Commission, on 23 September 2011, Sasol Wax GmbH was served with a law suit in The Netherlands by a company to which potential claims for compensation of damages have been assigned to by eight customers. On 30 September 2011, another law suit has been lodged with the London High Court by 30 plaintiffs against Sasol Wax GmbH, Sasol Wax International AG and Sasol Holding in Germany GmbH. The result of these proceedings cannot be determined at present.

Independent review by the auditors

These condensed consolidated interim financial results for the six months ended 31 December 2012 have been reviewed by KPMG Inc. KPMG Inc. has issued an unmodified review report on these condensed consolidated interim financial results. The auditor's unmodified report is available for inspection at the registered office of the company.

Registered office: Sasol Limited, 1 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196
PO Box 5486, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa

Share registrars: Computershare Investor Services (Pty) Ltd., 70 Marshall Street, Johannesburg 2001
PO Box 61051, Marshalltown 2107, South Africa, Tel: +27 11 370-7700 Fax: +27 11 370-5271/2

JSE Sponsor: Deutsche Securities (SA) (Pty) Ltd.

Directors (non-executive): Mrs TH Nyasulu (Chairman), Mr C Beggs*, Mr HG Dijkgraaf (Dutch)*, Dr MSV Gantsho*, Ms IN Mkhize*, Mr ZM Mkhize*, Mr MJN Njeke*, Mr PJ Robertson (British and American)*, Prof JE Schrempp (German)**, Mr S Westwell (British)* (executive): Mr DE Constable (Chief Executive Officer) (Canadian), Mrs KC Ramon (Chief Financial Officer), Ms VN Fakude

*Independent **Lead independent director

Company secretary: Mr VD Kahla

Company registration number: 1979/003231/06, incorporated in the Republic of South Africa
Income tax reference number: 9520/018/60/8

Sasol Ordinary shares
JSE
Share code: SOL
ISIN: ZAE000006896

Sasol BEE Ordinary shares
NYSE Share code: SOLBE1
SSL
Share code: US8038663006
ISIN:ZAE000151817

American depositary receipts (ADR) program:
Cusip number 803866300
ADR to ordinary share 1:1

Depositary: The Bank of New York Mellon, 22nd floor, 101 Barclay Street, New York, NY 10286, USA

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 12 October 2012 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.

Please note: A billion is defined as one thousand million. All references to years refer to the financial year ended 30 June. Any reference to a calendar year is prefaced by the word "calendar".

Contact: Sasol Investor Relations Team
Tel.: +27 (0)11 441 3113

 

SOURCE Sasol Limited




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