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Sasol delivered a good set of results for the six months ended 31 December 2020

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 22, 2021 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --

Sasol delivered a good set of results for the six months ended 31 December 2020. Our earnings increased by more than 100% to R15,3 billion from R4,5 billion in the prior period.

Despite a 23% decrease in the rand/barrel oil price, our adjusted EBITDA decreased by only 6%. This achievement is as a result of a strong cash cost, working capital and capital expenditure performance in response to the challenging environment.

Our earnings were positively impacted by the following non-cash adjustments:

    --  Gains of R4,6 billion on the translation of monetary assets and
        liabilities due to a 15% strengthening of the closing rand/US
        dollar exchange rate compared to June 2020;
    --  Gains of R5,0 billion on the valuation of financial instruments
        and derivative contracts; and
    --  R3,3 billion gain on the realisation of the foreign currency
        translation reserve (FCTR), mainly on the divestment of 50%
        interest in the US LCCP Base Chemicals business.


        Key
         metrics
            Half year                Half year         Change %
                                    31 Dec 2020                 31 Dec 2019


    ---                                                                                  ---

        EBIT (R
         million)                               21 650
            9 853
           >100

    ---                                                                                  ---

        Adjusted
         EBITDA(1)(R
         million)                               18 608
            19 839              (6)

    ---                                                                                  ---

        Headline
         earnings
         (R
         million)                               11 858
            3 670
           >100

    ---                                                                                  ---

        Basic
         earnings
         per share
         (Rand)                                  23,41                  6,56
           >100

    ---

        Headline
         earnings
         per share
         (Rand)                                  19,16                  5,94
           >100

    ---

        Core
         headline
         earnings
         per
         share(2)(Rand)                           7,86                  9,25              (15)

    ---

        Dividend per share (Rand)

    ---

        -
         Interim
         (Rand)                                      -

    ---                                                                                  ---

        -  Final
         (Rand)                                      -

    ---                                                                                  ---





        1. Adjusted EBITDA is calculated by adjusting EBIT for depreciation and
         amortisation, share-based payments, remeasurement items, movement in
         environmental provisions due to discount rate changes, all unrealised
         translation gains and losses and all unrealised gains and losses on
         our derivatives and hedging activities.

        The comparative periods have been restated to include all unrealised
         translation gains and losses and all unrealised gains and losses on
         derivative and hedging activities. We believe Adjusted EBITDA is a
         useful measure of the Group's underlying cash flow performance.
         However, this is not a defined term under IFRS and may not be
         comparable with similarly titled measures reported by other companies.
         (Adjusted EBITDA constitutes pro forma financial information in terms
         of the JSE Limited Listings Requirements and should be read in
         conjunction with the basis of preparation and pro forma financial
         information as set out in the full set of reviewed interim financial
         results).

        2. Core headline earnings per share (Core HEPS) is calculated by
         adjusting headline earnings per share with once-off items such as the
         translation impact of closing exchange rate, all realised and
         unrealised derivatives and hedging gains/losses, the implementation
         of the Khanyisa B-BBEE transaction and losses attributable to the
         LCCP while still in ramp-up phase.

        The comparative period has been restated to include all unrealised
         translation gains and losses and all realised and unrealised gains and
         losses on derivative and hedging activities.

        (Core HEPS constitutes pro forma financial information in terms of the
         JSE Limited Listings Requirements and should be read in conjunction
         with the basis of preparation and pro forma financial information as
         set out in the full set of reviewed interim financial results.)




Our key metrics were as follows:

    --  Working capital ratio of 14,9% compared to 14,6% for the prior
        period. Investment in working capital was R27,3 billion;
    --  Capital expenditure of R7,5 billion;
    --  Normalised cash fixed reduced by 10% (R3,2 billion) compared to
        the prior period;
    --  Profit before interest and tax (EBIT) of R21,7 billion compared
        to R9,9 billion in the prior period;
    --  Adjusted EBITDA declined by 6% from R19,8 billion in the prior
        period to R18,6 billion;
    --  Basic earnings per share (EPS) increased to R23,41 per share
        compared to R6,56 in prior period; and
    --  Headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by more than 100%
        to R19,16 per share compared to the prior period.


        Turnover (R million)                                                                   EBIT (R million)

    ---

        Half
         year                Half year                                                           Half year               Half year
                   31
                    Dec
                    2019               31 Dec 2020                                                          31 Dec 2020            31 Dec 2019

    ---

                      10
                     348                    10 807
      Mining                                                      1 732
             1 374

                     ---

                   2 635                     1 988    Exploration and Production International                      897
             1 023

                     ---

                      41
                     206                    30 178
      Energy                                                      5 098
             6 743

                     ---

                      24
                     642                    27 409
      Base Chemicals                                              3 624
             (1 488)

                     ---

                      32
                     933                    33 750
      Performance Chemicals                                       1 754
             1 294

                     ---

                       -                         6
      Group Functions                                             8 545                    907

                     ---

                     111
                     764                   104 138                 Group performance                             21 650
             9 853

                     ---

                     (12
                    594)                  (12 170)
      Intersegmental turnover

                     ---

                      99
                     170                    91 968                 External turnover

                     ---

                    Net
                    asset
                    value    Half year             Full year             Change %
                                       31 Dec 2020           30 Jun 2020

    ---

        Total
        assets
        (R
        million)
             397 516
             479 162     (17)

    ---

        Total
        liabilities
        (R
        million)
             236 473
             319 914       26

    ---

                    Total
                    equity
                    (R
                    million)               161 043               159 248        1

    ---

Rights issue

A decision was made not to pursue a rights issue given the current macroeconomic outlook, and the significant progress made on our response plan initiatives.

The balance sheet deleveraging pathway will continue to be prioritised to ensure that we operate within our financial covenants and maintain adequate liquidity headroom, whilst delivering the Sasol 2.0 transformation programme.

Balance sheet management

Cash generated by operating activities decreased by 40% to R11,7 billion compared to the prior period and our net cash on hand decreased from R34,1 billion as at 30 June 2020 to R27,6 billion.

Although our cash flows were impacted by low crude oil prices, softer chemical prices, plant downtime and the impact of COVID-19, our cash conservation initiative and asset divestment programme enabled us to repay approximately R28 billion (US$2 billion) of debt. In addition, we repaid ZAR banking facilities of approximately R4 billion.

Actual capital expenditure amounted to R7,5 billion compared to R21,4 billion during the first six months of 2020. The free cash flow for the period was R0,4 billion in a low US$43,62/barrel average oil price environment.

To create flexibility in Sasol's balance sheet during this peak gearing period, our lenders agreed to lift our covenant from 3,0 times to 4,0 times of Net debt: EBITDA (bank definition) when measured at 31 December 2020. This provided additional flexibility, subject to conditions, which were consistent with our capital allocation framework (i.e. prioritising debt reduction through commitments to suspend dividend payments and acquisitions while our leverage is above 3,0 times Net debt: EBITDA). We are appreciative of the continued support from our lenders during this challenging period.

Our Net debt: EBITDA ratio at 31 December 2020 was 2,6 times (bank definition), significantly below the threshold level.

At 31 December 2020, our total debt was R126,3 billion compared to R189,7 billion as at 30 June 2020. During the period, we utilised proceeds from our asset divestments to repay the US Dollar syndicated loan, as well as a portion of our revolving credit facility, reducing our US dollar denominated debt by almost R28 billion (US$2 billion) to R121 billion (US$8,2 billion).

Through our comprehensive response plan and planned asset divestments, we intend to further reduce our net debt to achieve a Net debt: EBITDA ratio of less than 2,0 times and gearing of 30% by 2023.

Our gearing decreased from 114,5% at 30 June 2020 to 76% at 31 December 2020 mainly due to repayment of US dollar debt (20%) and a stronger closing Rand/US dollar exchange rate (7%).

As at 31 December 2020, our liquidity headroom was in excess of R53 billion (US$3,6 billion) well above our targeted liquidity of at least US$1 billion, with available rand and US dollar-based funds improving as we advance our focused management actions. We continue to assess our mix of funding instruments to ensure that we have funding from a range of sources and a balanced debt maturity profile.

We have no significant debt maturities before November 2021 when the R2,2 billion (US$150 million) term loan becomes due. In terms of the covenant waivers with the lenders that existed at 30 June 2020, we remain obliged to use certain planned disposal proceeds to settle debt. As a result, R14,3 billion (US$975 million) has being classified as short-term debt.

We continue to actively manage the balance sheet with the objective of maintaining a healthy liquidity position and a balanced debt maturity profile.

Dividend

Given our current financial leverage and the risk of a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, the Board believes that it would be prudent to continue with the suspension of dividends. We expect the balance sheet to regain flexibility following the implementation of our comprehensive response plan strategy.

Mozambique Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) progresses

On 19 February 2021 the Board approved the final investment decision (FID) on the Mozambique PSA license area. The total estimated project cost is US$760 million.

Importantly, this project will entail Mozambique in-country monetisation of gas through a 450 megawatt gas-fired power plant and a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility in the same time frame. The balance of the gas produced will be exported to South Africa to sustain our operations.

The PSA development underpins Sasol's gas transformation strategy by securing additional gas supply from southern Mozambique into Sasol's gas value chain starting 2024 and serves as a cornerstone in addressing Sasol's sustainability agenda.

Note to Editors:

The full announcement and the reviewed interim financial results will be available on the Company's website at https://www.sasol.com/investor-centre/financial-reporting/annual-integrated-reporting-set.

The pre-recorded presentation will be available on the following link:

https://www.corpcam.com/Sasol22022021

The President and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer will host a conference call via webcast at 15h00 (SA time) to discuss the results and give an update of the business.



                Conference call details:




                Monday, 22 February 2021

             Time




                South Africa
              15:00




                United Kingdom
              13:00




                United States (ET)
              08:00





     Live conference call link:  https://www.corpcam.com/Sasol22022021Questions


Issued by:

Matebello Motloung, Manager: Group Media RelationsDirect telephone: +27 (0) 10 344 9256; Mobile: +27 (0) 82 773 9457matebello.motloung@sasol.com

Alex Anderson, Senior Manager: Group External CommunicationDirect telephone: +27 (0) 10 344 6509; Mobile: +27 (0) 71 600 9605alex.anderson@sasol.com

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sasol-delivered-a-good-set-of-results-for-the-six-months-ended-31-december-2020-301232286.html

SOURCE Sasol Limited

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2021/22/c1979.html

SOURCE: Sasol Limited

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