In South Africa Impala Platinum H1 profit slides on price fall

Implats raised 4 billion rand ($256 million) from investors last year to develop two of its most important shafts while closing or scaling back on other projects and cutting jobs due to tough market conditions.

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Platinum bars are stacked at the safe deposit boxes room of the ProAurum gold house in Munich March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder play Platinum bars are stacked at the safe deposit boxes room of the ProAurum gold house in Munich March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder (Reuters)
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South Africa's Impala Platinum (Implats) on Thursday posted a 19.6 percent fall in first-half earnings, weighed down by a fall in platinum prices.

Headline earnings per share - a measure of profit that strips off certain one-off items - fell to 53 cents for the six months to end-December from 66 cents a year earlier.

Implats raised 4 billion rand ($256 million) from investors last year to develop two of its most important shafts while closing or scaling back on other projects and cutting jobs due to tough market conditions.

The world's second-biggest platinum producer said it planned to cut costs by 1.6 billion rand through a strategic review by the end of the 2016 financial year.

The price of platinum, which is used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in cars, fell about 15 percent over the six months to end-December.

Implats said a fire at one of its shafts in South Africa, which led to the death of four employees, and other safety stoppages led the company to trim its annual production guidance.

Gross refined platinum production for the six months rose 9.8 percent to 692,100 ounces compared with a year ago due to the ramp-up of Rustenburg operations and higher Zimplats output.

Implats closed the loss-making shaft 8 and the mechanised section on 12 shaft, with total headcount at the Rustenburg operations being cut by 2,690 people over the seven months to end-January.

($1 = 15.6150 rand)

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