UPDATE 1-Amplats expects full-year earnings to drop at least 20 pct

Mon Dec 1, 2014 5:28am EST
 
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JOHANNESBURG Dec 1 (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) expects full-year earnings to fall by at least 20 percent because of the record five-month strike that hit its South African operation, it said on Monday.

The wages dispute with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which ended in June, cost Amplats 424,000 ounces in lost production and a further 108,000 ounces during the subsequent post-strike ramp-up.

The Anglo American subsidiary, which has also had to contend with spot platinum prices down about 12 percent this year and hovering around five-year lows, said that headline earnings per share would fall by at least 20 percent from last year's 5.56 rand per share.

The world's top platinum producer said it has benefited from the final phase of a refinancing transaction with Toronto-listed Atlatsa Resources and from the closure of a section of Amplats' Union mine.

Amplats said this year that it would sell the mine and other labour-intensive shafts around Rustenburg, the epicentre of the strike, as it switches to more mechanised methods of mining.

The company's Johannesburg-listed shares fell more than 7 percent to 346 rand by 0954 GMT. ($1 = 11.0912 South African rand) (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by David Goodman)