Northam’s short term credit rating upgraded
Northam wishes to advise shareholders that the credit rating agency, Global Credit Rating Co. (“GCR”), has upgraded Northam’s short term credit rating from A2(za) to A1-(za) and reaffirmed the Company’s long term rating of BBB+(ZA) with the outlook accorded as Stable.
Northam’s upgrade in its short term credit rating was obtained despite the industry outlook remaining negative on account of, inter alia, depressed platinum group metal (PGM) prices and cost inflation, illustrating the benefits of the Group’s liquid balance sheet and strong shareholder support.
GCR has published a detailed credit rating report (available from GCR at http://globalratings.net detailing the key criteria which form the basis for its rating, these include:
- The impact of Northam’s fully funded R6.6 billion black economic empowerment transaction, which raised Northam’s empowerment levels to 35.4%, on a secured basis for 10 years, and incorporated a cash injection of R4.6 billion, notably enhancing Northam’s liquidity and flexibility.
- Increased production supported the uplift in PGM sales, which saw the Group’s revenue increase to over R6 billion for the first time in the 2015 financial year.
- Higher Booysendal Mine output and general cost rigour underpinned a recovery in the Group’s operating profit margin.
- The Booysendal Mine increasing the Group’s operational stability and reducing the concentration of risk. The mine is set to reach steady production in the second half of calendar 2015.
- A reduction in capital expenditure during the 2015 financial year both deliberate and occasioned by the virtual completion of the Booysendal North, Phase 1.
- Northam’s redemption of the R1.4 billion in three-year domestic medium term notes thereby reducing the Group’s debt to negligible levels.
- The three-year wage agreement recently concluded at Northam’s Zondereinde mine with the National Union of Mineworkers.
11 September 2015
Russell & Associates
Tel +27 (0)11 880 3924
Marion Brower: +27 (0) 71 493 0387