Sasol Profit Jumps as Louisiana Project Enters Crunch Year
(Bloomberg) -- Sasol Ltd. reported a jump in first-half profit as the South African fuels and chemicals company enters a crucial year for its massive Lake Charles chemicals project in Louisiana.
- Headline earnings per share increased by 32 percent to 23.25 rand ($1.66).
- Sasol benefited from a rebound in oil prices for most of 2018, as well as a weaker rand relative to the dollar. The company has also been helped by cost-cutting measures and efforts to save cash during the earlier three-year crude slump.
- The start up of Lake Charles marks a key shift in Sasol’s history, transforming the synthetic-fuels maker into a global chemicals player. Earlier this month, the company announced a key milestone at the project, but also revealed that capital costs increased once again and startup will be delayed.
- By the end of December, the project was 94 percent complete and capital expenditure had reached $10.9 billion. Despite the setbacks, co-Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cornell said the company is still confident the project will deliver a steady Ebitda run-rate of $1.3 billion in financial-year 2022.
- Liquid fuels sales volumes increased 4 percent, helped by improved performance from the Natref refinery, and increased sales to wholesale and commercial customers.
- Key figures here
- Statement here
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