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Sasol Ltd ADR SSL
Q2 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/11/2013

Operator: Good morning and good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Sasol Interim Financial Results Conference Call. Today's call will be hosted by David Constable, Chief Executive Officer, and Christine Ramon, Chief financial Officer. Following their formal presentation by Sasol management, an interactive Q&A session will be available. A copy of today's slide presentation is available on www.sasol.com. I'd now like to hand the call over to David Constable. Please go ahead sir.

David E. Constable - CEO: Thanks very much, Christine. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening everyone. Thank you for joining us on the conference call today. Joining on the call from Sasol are Christine Ramon, our CFO; Lean Strauss, our Senior Group Executive for International Energy, Technology and New Business; Andre De Ruyter; Senior Group Executive for Global Chemicals and North American Operations; Bernard Klingenberg; Group Executive for South African Energy; Nolitha Fakude, Executive Director of Sustainability and Transformation; and Riaan Rademan, Group Executive of Mining and Business Enablement.

Today, we announced a solid and stable financial performance. Given our South African and International context, this is no small task. Our results are testament to our ability to continue to be resilient in challenging times. Notwithstanding global economic uncertainty, social and political instability and commodity market volatility, we continue to deliver for our shareholders, while advancing our growth projects in a measured and responsible fashion.

Turning to Slide 4 of the presentation, which you have in front of you, let me start with an overview of what you're going to hear today. I'll begin by providing with some context to support how resilient we are notwithstanding the challenging global environment of the past 4.5 years. We will then spend some time highlighting the key milestones we've achieved during the first half of the 2013 financial year. Christine will go into more detail on the strong financial and operational performance of our businesses. I will then talk to you about the advancements we've made on our growth projects; in particular, I'll highlight how we're approaching investment decisions on our strategic projects in the U.S. We'll wrap up the presentation by summarizing why Sasol remains an extremely compelling investment proposition, and open it up to those on the call to ask us any questions you may have.

Let's turn to Slide 5. It's fair to say that since 2009 three key factors have been influencing the nature and extent of the investment decisions that are taken by corporates worldwide. Number one, a persisting global economic crisis; two, international socio-political instability; and number three, commodity market volatility. These factors have also had a chilling effect on economic growth, impacting in large part both the private and public sectors.

Despite significant global challenges, Sasol remains resilient, as can be seen from the attributable earnings graph shown here. The graph reflects our earnings for the past 13 years. Over this period, we remained a strong performer with our earnings trending favorably upward. In 2008, we had one of our best earnings years, followed by a sharp dip in 2009 at the start of the global recession. Notwithstanding this setback, we bounced back in 2010 and have continued our upward trajectory.

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