Despite a 23% decrease in the rand/barrel oil price, our adjusted EBITDA decreased by only 6%. This achievement is as a result of a strong cash cost, working capital and capital expenditure performance in response to the challenging environment.
Our earnings were positively impacted by the following non-cash adjustments:
- Gains of R4,6 billion on the translation of monetary assets and liabilities due to a 15% strengthening of the closing rand/US dollar exchange rate compared to June 2020;
- Gains of R5,0 billion on the valuation of financial instruments and derivative contracts; and
- R3,3 billion gain on the realisation of the foreign currency translation reserve (FCTR), mainly on the divestment of 50% interest in the US LCCP Base Chemicals business.
31 Dec 2020Half year
31 Dec 2019Change %EBIT (R million)21 6509 853>100Adjusted EBITDA1(R million)18 60819 839(6)Headline earnings (R million)11 8583 670>100Basic earnings per share (Rand)23,416,56>100Headline earnings per share (Rand)19,165,94>100Core headline earnings per share2(Rand)7,869,25(15)Dividend per share (Rand)- Interim (Rand)---- Final (Rand)--- 1. Adjusted EBITDA is calculated by adjusting EBIT for depreciation and amortisation, share-based payments, remeasurement items, movement in environmental provisions due to discount rate changes, all unrealised translation gains and losses and all unrealised gains and losses on our derivatives and hedging activities.The comparative periods have been restated to include all unrealised translation gains and losses and all unrealised gains and losses on derivative and hedging activities. We believe Adjusted EBITDA is a useful measure of the Group's underlying cash flow performance. However, this is not a defined term under IFRS and may not be comparable with similarly titled measures reported by other companies. (Adjusted EBITDA constitutes pro forma financial information in terms of the JSE Limited Listings Requirements and should be read in conjunction with the basis of preparation and pro forma financial information as set out in the full set of reviewed interim financial results).
2. Core headline earnings per share (Core HEPS) is calculated by adjusting headline earnings per share with once-off items such as the translation impact of closing exchange rate, all realised and unrealised derivatives and hedging gains/losses, the implementation of the Khanyisa B-BBEE transaction and losses attributable to the LCCP while still in ramp-up phase.The comparative period has been restated to include all unrealised translation gains and losses and all realised and unrealised gains and losses on derivative and hedging activities.(Core HEPS constitutes pro forma financial information in terms of the JSE Limited Listings Requirements and should be read in conjunction with the basis of preparation and pro forma financial information as set out in the full set of reviewed interim financial results.)
Our key metrics were as follows:
- Working capital ratio of 14,9% compared to 14,6% for the prior period. Investment in working capital was R27,3 billion;
- Capital expenditure of R7,5 billion;
- Normalised cash fixed reduced by 10% (R3,2 billion) compared to the prior period;
- Profit before interest and tax (EBIT) of R21,7 billion compared to R9,9 billion in the prior period;
- Adjusted EBITDA declined by 6% from R19,8 billion in the prior period to R18,6 billion;
- Basic earnings per share (EPS) increased to R23,41 per share compared to R6,56 in prior period; and
- Headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased by more than 100% to R19,16 per share compared to the prior period.
31 Dec 2019Half year
31 Dec 2020Half year
31 Dec 2020Half year
31 Dec 201910 34810 807Mining1 7321 3742 6351 988Exploration and Production International8971 02341 20630 178Energy5 0986 74324 64227 409Base Chemicals3 624(1 488)32 93333 750Performance Chemicals1 7541 294-6Group Functions8 545907111 764104 138Group performance21 6509 853(12 594)(12 170)Intersegmental turnover99 17091 968External turnoverNet asset valueHalf year
31 Dec 2020Full year
30 Jun 2020Change %Total assets (R million)397 516479 162(17)Total liabilities (R million)236 473319 91426Total equity (R million)161 043159 2481
A decision was made not to pursue a rights issue given the current macroeconomic outlook, and the significant progress made on our response plan initiatives.
The balance sheet deleveraging pathway will continue to be prioritised to ensure that we operate within our financial covenants and maintain adequate liquidity headroom, whilst delivering the Sasol 2.0 transformation programme.
Balance sheet management
Cash generated by operating activities decreased by 40% to R11,7 billion compared to the prior period and our net cash on hand decreased from R34,1 billion as at 30 June 2020 to R27,6 billion.
Although our cash flows were impacted by low crude oil prices, softer chemical prices, plant downtime and the impact of COVID-19, our cash conservation initiative and asset divestment programme enabled us to repay approximately R28 billion (US$2 billion) of debt. In addition, we repaid ZAR banking facilities of approximately R4 billion.
Actual capital expenditure amounted to R7,5 billion compared to R21,4 billion during the first six months of 2020. The free cash flow for the period was R0,4 billion in a low US$43,62/barrel average oil price environment.
To create flexibility in Sasol's balance sheet during this peak gearing period, our lenders agreed to lift our covenant from 3,0 times to 4,0 times of Net debt: EBITDA (bank definition) when measured at 31 December 2020. This provided additional flexibility, subject to conditions, which were consistent with our capital allocation framework (i.e. prioritising debt reduction through commitments to suspend dividend payments and acquisitions while our leverage is above 3,0 times Net debt: EBITDA). We are appreciative of the continued support from our lenders during this challenging period.
Our Net debt: EBITDA ratio at 31 December 2020 was 2,6 times (bank definition), significantly below the threshold level.
At 31 December 2020, our total debt was R126,3 billion compared to R189,7 billion as at 30 June 2020. During the period, we utilised proceeds from our asset divestments to repay the US Dollar syndicated loan, as well as a portion of our revolving credit facility, reducing our US dollar denominated debt by almost R28 billion (US$2 billion) to R121 billion (US$8,2 billion).
Through our comprehensive response plan and planned asset divestments, we intend to further reduce our net debt to achieve a Net debt: EBITDA ratio of less than 2,0 times and gearing of 30% by 2023.
Our gearing decreased from 114,5% at 30 June 2020 to 76% at 31 December 2020 mainly due to repayment of US dollar debt (20%) and a stronger closing Rand/US dollar exchange rate (7%).
As at 31 December 2020, our liquidity headroom was in excess of R53 billion (US$3,6 billion) well above our targeted liquidity of at least US$1 billion, with available rand and US dollar-based funds improving as we advance our focused management actions. We continue to assess our mix of funding instruments to ensure that we have funding from a range of sources and a balanced debt maturity profile.
We have no significant debt maturities before November 2021 when the R2,2 billion (US$150 million) term loan becomes due. In terms of the covenant waivers with the lenders that existed at 30 June 2020, we remain obliged to use certain planned disposal proceeds to settle debt. As a result, R14,3 billion (US$975 million) has being classified as short-term debt.
We continue to actively manage the balance sheet with the objective of maintaining a healthy liquidity position and a balanced debt maturity profile.
Given our current financial leverage and the risk of a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, the Board believes that it would be prudent to continue with the suspension of dividends. We expect the balance sheet to regain flexibility following the implementation of our comprehensive response plan strategy.
Mozambique Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) progresses
On 19 February 2021 the Board approved the final investment decision (FID) on the Mozambique PSA license area. The total estimated project cost is US$760 million.
Importantly, this project will entail Mozambique in-country monetisation of gas through a 450 megawatt gas-fired power plant and a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility in the same time frame. The balance of the gas produced will be exported to South Africa to sustain our operations.
The PSA development underpins Sasol's gas transformation strategy by securing additional gas supply from southern Mozambique into Sasol's gas value chain starting 2024 and serves as a cornerstone in addressing Sasol's sustainability agenda.
Note to Editors:
The full announcement and the reviewed interim financial results will be available on the Company's website at
The pre-recorded presentation will be available on the following link:
The President and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer will host a conference call via webcast at 15h00 (SA time) to discuss the results and give an update of the business.Conference call details:Monday, 22 February 2021TimeSouth Africa15:00United Kingdom13:00United States (ET)08:00 Live conference call link:
Matebello Motloung, Manager: Group Media Relations
Direct telephone: +27 (0) 10 344 9256; Mobile: +27 (0) 82 773 9457
Alex Anderson, Senior Manager: Group External Communication
Direct telephone: +27 (0) 10 344 6509; Mobile: +27 (0) 71 600 9605