(Updates with company comment in second paragraph.)
Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sasol Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of motor fuels from coal, said earnings in the six months through December may rise by at least 45 percent from a year earlier following oil-price gains and currency depreciation.
Sasol has benefited from “improved operational performance in certain businesses, the considerable improvement in oil and commodity prices and a weaker rand compared to the prior comparable period,” the Johannesburg-based company said today in a statement. It had so-called headline earnings per share of 12.97 rand ($1.53) in the six months through December 2010.
In the past 12 months, South Africa’s currency has swung between 6.57 rand to the dollar and 8.44 rand, and has weakened more than 20 percent since the start of September. At the same time, crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange have risen 19 percent from a year ago.
Crude is forecast to increase in every quarter of next year, according to the median estimate of 33 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Sasol rose as much as 2.4 percent in Johannesburg trading and up 1.4 percent at 370 rand as of 12:18 p.m. local time.
--Editors: Amanda Jordan, John Viljoen
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