Sasol swings into huge loss amid writedowns


Embattled chemicals and energy group Sasol warned on Tuesday it had swung into a hefty loss in its year to end-June, amid R112bn in writedowns, which exceeds its market capitalisation.

This was primarily writedowns related to its US operations, which have weighed heavily on the group in 2020, when its share price has halved.

Sasol, with a market capitalisation of R94.9bn on Tuesday morning, has faced cost overruns at its Lake Charles project in the US, an explosion at that facility, and lower oil prices as the Covid-19 pandemic hit global travel and economic activity.

Citing the lower oil price and effect of Covid-19, the group has written down its energy portfolio by R12.5bn, base chemicals by R71.3bn, and its chemicals division by R27.7bn.

It expects to report a headline loss per share of R8.72 to R14.86, from R30.72 previously, amid an 18% decline in rand-per-barrel price of Brent crude oil.

Sasol's results are expected on August 17.

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