Sasol warns of oil slump-induced loss

Sasol, the world's top producer of motor fuel from coal, warned on Tuesday (August 11) that it will report an annual loss after a slump in oil and chemical prices, and amid a world in lockdown.

The South African company said its headline loss per share is expected to be between 8.72 rand - or around half a U.S. dollar - and 14.86 rand in the year to June 30.

That compares with headline earnings of 30.72 rand per share during the same period a year ago.

Sasol said lower global chemical and refining margins and an 18% decrease in the rand-per-barrel price of Brent crude oil had hurt earnings.

EBITDA, or adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, is also expected to fall by as much as 37%.

The company said it had recorded impairments in some of its cash generating units as well as the fair value impact of starting discussions to find a partner for its U.S. Base Chemicals assets.

That search is an effort to avoid a potential $2 billion rights issue as the economic headwinds weigh on its ability to service its debt - something that has concerned investors.

Sasol is expected to release its full-year results on August 17.