Home » South African tycoon Fleetwood Grobler-led Sasol posts $7.1-billion half-year revenue

South African tycoon Fleetwood Grobler-led Sasol posts $7.1-billion half-year revenue

by Omokolade Ajayi
Fleetwood Grobler

South African energy and chemicals giant Sasol, under the leadership of CEO Fleetwood Grobler, experienced a challenging half-year financial period, as revealed by its recently published interim financial statements for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2023.

It reported a notable decline in revenue, falling below $7.1 billion, primarily attributed to lower chemical product prices across all regions. Sasol’s revenue dropped from R149.8 billion ($7.84 billion) in the first half of the 2023 fiscal year to R136.29 billion ($7.13 billion) in the corresponding period of its 2024 fiscal year.

The volatile macroeconomic environment, characterized by weaker oil and petrochemical prices, unstable product demand, and continued inflationary pressure, significantly impacted Sasol’s performance.

Energy giant Sasol, led by Fleetwood Grobler, faces challenges with 34-percent earnings drop

Headquartered in the affluent Gauteng Province of Sandton, Sasol, a leading integrated energy and chemicals group operating in 33 countries, employs a global workforce of 30,100. The conglomerate, led by Fleetwood Grobler, a minority shareholder, is navigating a transition towards cleaner and renewable energy strategies in recent times.

The conglomerate, renowned for its production of liquid fuels, chemicals, and electricity, as well as its role as a technology developer in synthetic fuels, recorded a 34 percent decline in headline earnings, plummeting from R19.39 billion ($1.01 billion) to R12.85 billion ($672 million) during the same period.

Grobler, Sasol’s group CEO, acknowledged the challenges posed by the complex global environment, stating, “We are navigating a complex global environment. We remain committed to implementing our strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the company.”

Market challenges lead to remeasurement and reduced dividend for Sasol

During the review period, Sasol faced remeasurement costs amounting to R5.8 billion ($300.3 million). The main factors behind these costs were impairments in the Secunda liquid fuels refinery cash-generating unit (CGU) and the Chemicals Africa Chlor-Alkali & PVC and Polyethylene CGUs. The impairments were primarily a result of decreased selling prices due to lower market demand and a worsened macroeconomic outlook.

Due to the decline in earnings, Sasol’s board of directors declared an interim gross cash dividend of R2 ($0.104) per share, compared to the R7 ($0.366) per share dividend declared in the previous period.

The net interim dividend amount payable to shareholders not exempt from the dividend withholding tax is R1.6 ($0.0836) per share, while shareholders exempt from dividend withholding tax will receive R2 ($0.104) per share.

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