Sasol expects to report on February 26 that its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-December rose as much as 17%.
The synthetic fuel producer said its earnings benefited from international oil prices rising 19% to average $56.74 a barrel from $47.68 in the matching period.
But this was damped to some extent by the stronger rand and production glitches, partly due to SA’s unreliable power supply.
An unexpected Eskom electricity supply interruption at the start of the financial period contributed to production from its Natref plant falling 21%.
Production volumes from its Secunda synfuels operations decreased by 1% due to a planned shutdown.
“This, together with softer market demand, lowered our liquid fuels sales volumes by 3%,” the trading update said.
Sasol said if crude oil prices remained above $70 a barrel, it should do well in the second half of its financial year.