Lonmin swings back to annual profit

2013-11-11 16:26

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British platinum miner Lonmin has swung back into an annual net profit, recovering from a violent strike at its Marikana platinum mine.

Earnings after tax stood at $166 million (R1.7 billion) in the 12 months to the end of September, compared with a net loss of $410 million in its 2011/2012 fiscal year, Lonmin said in a results statement.

The world’s third largest platinum producer said revenues fell 5.8% to $1.52 billion.

Lonmin, which last year faced strikes sparked by a police crackdown at Marikana that left 34 dead, admitted that it had “much more to do” to regain workers’ trust.

“My priority on joining the business was to meet as many employees and stakeholders as possible to begin the task of winning back hearts and minds in the wake of last year’s events at Marikana,” said Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara, who arrived in July.

“I visited our shafts, plants and the communities around them and went to the areas of South Africa from which most of our employees come. I also visited the families of those who lost their lives during the terrible events at Marikana last year.”

He added: “Whilst our hard work has begun to rebuild trust, demonstrated by the fact that we were able to sign a union recognition agreement and attend the Marikana commemoration, we still have much more to do in this regard.”

South Africa’s mining industry is still recovering from a wave of violent strikes last year. Impromptu strikes in the sector are frequent and are often linked to union rivalry, working conditions and wages.

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