JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- (JSE - SOL; NYSE - SSL) -- Expected headline earnings per share for the financial year ended 30 June 2012 to increase by between 20% and 30%, and earnings per share to increase by between 14% and 24%, compared to the prior financial year.
In the update from the chief financial officer released on 28 June 2012, we stated that we remained confident that, based on production guidance and macro-economic indicators, we will deliver solid operational results and increased earnings for the 2012 financial year compared to the prior financial year. At the time, the currency and commodity price volatility to which our earnings are particularly sensitive, as well as any adjustments arising from our year end closure process, made it difficult to be more precise in our profit outlook statement.
Sasol's profitability for the financial year ended 30 June 2012 compared to the previous financial year has improved due to an overall solid production performance as well as a 17% increase in the average Brent crude oil price, and an 11% weakening of the rand/US dollar exchange rate.
These positive factors have been partially offset by an impairment of R964 million (CAD120 million) and depreciation of R1 324 million (CAD171 million) (at a rate of approximately 24% per annum) in respect of our Canadian shale gas assets, where we have been more conservative in the valuation and depreciation, ahead of our future gas-to-liquids ("GTL") investment decision. This approach is in line with other companies that have exposure to North American shale gas assets. We have lowered our long term North American gas price estimate to take cognisance of the unpredictability relating to the current oversupply of gas and the resultant potential impact on the long term North American gas market. We remain committed to developing the Canadian shale gas assets and will reassess our position once we have taken a GTL investment decision in North America. We will continue to review the valuation of these assets in light of changes in the North American gas prices.
Sasol remains a strong cash generator and maintains a solid financial position.
Shareholders are accordingly advised that Sasol's headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended 30 June 2012 are expected to increase by between 20% and 30%, and earnings per share (EPS) for the year ended 30 June 2012 are expected to increase by between 14% and 24%, compared to the previous financial year.
Our results may be further affected by any adjustments resulting from our year end closure process. This may result in a change in the estimated earnings.
The financial information on which this trading statement is based has not been reviewed and reported on by the Company's external auditors.
Sasol's financial results for the year ended 30 June 2012 will be announced on Monday, 10 September 2012.
Issued by sponsor: Deutsche Securities (SA) (Proprietary) Limited
Sasol Investor Relations
Tel.: +27 (0)11 441 3321/ 3562
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 7 October 2011 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.
SOURCE Sasol Limited