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Lonmin shares lose a quarter of value after delays results

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Lonmin shares lose a quarter of value after delays results

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By Zandi Shabalala LONDON (Reuters) – Lonmin <LMI.L> <LONJ.J> shares fell around 25 percent on Friday after the platinum miner delayed its annual financial results because it could not yet give a specific figure for the impact of an ongoing business review. The London and Johannesburg listed miner announced a review of its business in August to address uncertainties about its ability to continue as a going concern. The review includes the sale of some of its assets, cutting jobs and re-negotiating loan agreements. “The Operational Review, and the potentially significant outcomes, has required and continues to demand management’s undivided attention and, as a result, the preparation of the audited full year financial results has been delayed,” the company said. Lonmin said it had adequate liquidity to fund the business through the review process. The results had been due on Nov. 13. Shares fell 27 percent in London to 75.75 pence and dropped by a similar margin in Johannesburg by 1440 GMT. Despite reporting higher production over the last few months, Lonmin is still battling persistently low platinum prices which have cut into profits. “They are clearly far from out of the woods,” Shore Capital Stockbrokers analyst Yuen Low said. “The problem for them is that PGM (platinum group metals) prices are too low and as for next year, if those prices persist, they are underwater and losing money. Lonmin’s lenders waived some of its debt covenants, the miner said in October and said it would fire more workers before the end of the year. Costs for South African miners are paid in rand and are a pain for producers when the currency strengthens Lonmin, which has all its operations in South Africa, said costs in its fourth quarter rose 4.3 percent year-on-year and were 8.9 percent higher in 2017, mainly on higher labour costs. Lonmin said it expected costs to rise next year to between 12,000 to 12,500 rand from 11,701 rand ($823) this year. Nedbank analysts said while the production figures were good, “rising costs essentially mean that Lonmin is still running just to stand still” “We strongly believe that Lonmin will have to be recapitalised in order to grow production back to sustainable profit levels,” they said.

(Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)
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