South Africa's Northam FY earnings up 69 pct, forgoes dividend

JOHANNESBURG Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:48am EDT

JOHANNESBURG Aug 15 (Reuters) - A weaker rand currency helped lift full-year earnings at South Africa's Northam Platinum by 69 percent on Thursday, although the mining company said the outlook remained uncertain and it declined to pay a dividend.

Headline earnings per share for the 12 months to end-June totalled 136.5 cents from 80.9 cents a year earlier. Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items.

Sales increased 20 percent, even as the production of metals in concentrate remained flat at 9 million kilograms following a strike.

Northam said its financial performance will depend largely on international metal prices and a peaceful and productive labour force.

South African platinum miners, including industry leader Anglo American Platinum, are struggling to recover after their operations were brought to a halt by extended illegal strikes late last year.

More than 50 people were killed in labour unrest last year, including 34 shot by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August last year, the deadliest single security incident in South Africa since apartheid ended in 1994.

Shares of Northam have gained almost 6 percent this year so far, outperforming the JSE's Platinum Index which has fallen around 19 percent. (Reporting by Sherilee Lakmidas; editing by David Dolan)

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