WITHOUT a substantial expansion programme in Zimbabwe, it is difficult to make a case for earnings growth at world number two platinum miner Impala Platinum (Implats) beyond the group’s 2006 financial year, investment bank Merrill Lynch w
rote in a report.
Zimbabwe remains key to Implats, the bank added.
In Zimbabwe, the group has an 87% stake in Zimplats and a 50% stake in the Mimosa mine.
Lynch is forecasting Implats to produce headline earnings per share of R50 in the group’s 2006 financial year, up from R43,25 this year.
During Implats’ 2006 financial year, platinum is expected to average US$800 a troy ounce and Lynch has penciled in R6,84 to the US dollar.
Platinum was this week quoted at US$912,50/oz and the rand was last at 6,37 to the US dollar.
In 2007, the bank expected Implats to generate headline earnings per share of R41,26 and 2008 headline earnings per share are forecast to come in at R37,34.
Lynch currently has a “neutral” recommendation on Implats’ share. – Reuter.