Sibanye Stillwater operational performance for H1 2021 was significantly better than for the comparable period in 2020, reflecting the resumption of more normalised operations at the SA PGM and SA Gold operations following the COVID-19 disruptions experienced during 2020.
At the US PGM operations, the positive operating momentum from Q1 2021 was arrested by safety stoppages and associated restrictions in June 2021, which resulted in production being unchanged year-on-year.
The impact of the disruptions was ameliorated by consistent production from the US recycling operation, which ensured significant earnings benefit from higher 3E PGM basket prices.
Sibanye Stillwater delivered another record financial performance for the six months ended 30 June 2021 (H1 2021). Significantly higher production year-on-year from the SA PGM and gold operations reflects a sustained recovery in production from the COVID-19 disruptions experienced in 2020, with production from the US PGM operations flat year-on-year.
The improved operational performance together with considerably higher commodity prices, resulted in Group profit for H1 2021 increasing by 160% to R25,319 million (US$1,740 million) compared with R9,731 million (US$584 million) for H1 2020. This surpassed the previous Group record of R20,891 million (US$1,277 million) reported for H2 2020, by 21% or R4,428 million (US$463 million).
Normalised earnings of R24,411 million (US$1,678 million) were 176% higher than for H1 2020.
In line with the dividend policy, an interim dividend of approximately R8,544 million (US$565 million) (292 cents per share/US77.2 cents per ADR), equivalent to an annualised dividend yield of 10%, was approved by the Board. Due to the solid production outlook and robust strong commodity price, this interim dividend is equivalent to 35% of normalised earnings and is at the upper end of the range specified in the Group dividend policy.
Strategic imperatives during H1 2021 included:
- Significant investment in high-return brownfields projects to sustain our SA PGM and gold operations (approved in February 2021). Following the completion of initial planning during Q2 2021, development of these projects began during July 2021.
- Gross debt (excluding non-recourse debt) was reduced by 44% from R28,144 million (US$1,622 million) at the end of H1 2020, to R15,901 million (US$1,114 million) at the end of H1 2021.