Sasol reports 27% rise in earnings

South African petrochemicals group Sasol posted a 27% rise in full-year earnings to R33.85 for the year ending 30 June 2011, boosted by cost cuts and higher oil and product prices.

Operating profit of increased by 25% compared with the previous year to R30bn, due to decisive action on energy efficiency initiatives, a continued focus on cost containment, and the benefits realised from the company's functional excellence programme and business improvement plans.

Chief executive David Constable said, "Our focus on further improving the performance of our assets has delivered strong production, cost and margin benefits.

“We are particularly pleased with our acquisition of two shale gas assets in Canada and are making progress on this and other gas-to-liquids opportunities, based on our proprietary technology."

Chief financial officer Christine Ramon added, "Higher global commodity prices have supported the healthy margins delivered, particularly in our chemicals businesses, negating the impact of the strong rand. The global economy remains volatile and our strong cash flows continue to underpin the robustness of our businesses."