MINING group Lonmin beat market expectations, despite falling to a pre-tax loss of $77m (£49m) in the six months to 31 March.
The group, which specialises in platinum, posted a profit of $26m in the first half of 2014.
The company also saw net debt grow in the period, to $282m, which it attributed to disruption caused by smelter shutdowns, while revenue fell to $508m from $578m.
Lonmin boss Ben Magara said the firm was continuing with its efforts to cut costs and preserve cash, in a bid to “navigate the effects” of a low platinum group metals pricing situation.
Capital expenditure during the first half was $65m, compared with $46m in the same period of last year, while capex for the full year has been reduced to $160m from $185m.
Magara also said he was encouraged by Lonmin’s “ongoing efforts to manage the controllables,” including engagement with the unions to reduce outgoings such as labour costs.
“We are working well within our debt facilities, and this position will improve further during [the second half] as stockpiles unwind,” he added.
Meanwhile, quarterly platinum production grew in the three months to 31 March, from 60,417 oz to 122,094 oz.
Analysts at Numis said the company was “making some progress in a tough operating environment,” but added that it still has much work to do.
Lonmin shares were down by 1.06 per cent yesterday.