Amplats posts a loss as strikes bite

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Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum, the biggest producer of the metal, reported a loss for 2012 as sales of refined platinum fell and cash operating costs rose.

The company had a so-called headline loss excluding one- time items of 1.47 billion rand ($166 million), or 5.62 rand a share, from a profit of 3.57 billion rand, or 13.65 rand a share, the Johannesburg-based company, controlled by Anglo American, said in a statement today.

The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a loss of 5.59 rand a share.

Anglo American Platinum, or Amplats, put plans on hold to cut as many as 14,000 jobs in South Africa following criticism from the government.

The company said it will postpone a decision on the cuts for as many as 60 days to allow for consultations with the Department of Mineral Resources and unions.

Amplats announced proposals January 15 to shut four mine shafts to curb costs.

The plans would cut 400,000 ounces of platinum production annually, or 7 percent of global output, to help the company return to profitability.

Local analysts use headline earnings as the benchmark measure of company performance.

Amplats reported an attributable loss of 6.68 billion rand compared with a profit of 3.59 billion rand. - Bloomberg News

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