Sasol H1 earnings +26%, ehtylene project commissioned

Sasol (SSL) says its fiscal first-half profit rose 26% Y/Y, helped by higher chemical prices and a weaker rand against the dollar.

Earnings excluding one-time items rose to 18.4B rand, or 30.19 rand/share in the six months through December, from 14B rand, or 24.01/share a year earlier.

SSL will pay a record interim dividend of 8 rand/share, a 40% increase Y/Y.

Says it was hit by a one-time 5.7B rand writedown due to costs associated with its Canadian shale gas operation and sale of its stake in Iran-based Arya Sasol Polymer Co.

Says its Louisiana plant that converts ethylene into other chemical products will be fully operational by the middle of this year.

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