September 7, 2017 / 6:51 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-S.Africa's ARM doubles profit helped by higher metal prices

(Adds lawsuit provision, gives detail)

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 7 (Reuters) - African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) reported a 166 percent rise in full-year profit on Thursday helped by higher commodity prices.

Diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) from continuing operations, which strip out certain one-off items, rose to 1,742 cents per share for the year to June 30 from a re-stated 654 cents for the previous year.

“The significant increase was mainly as a result of higher U.S. dollar prices realised for all the commodities in ARM’s portfolio relative to the previous corresponding year,” the company said in a statement.

ARM operates joint ventures with Anglo American Platinum , Assore, Impala Platinum and Glencore.

It raised its dividend to 650 cents per share from 225 cents per share a year earlier.

The company, which sold its indirect stake in Zambia’s Lubambe copper mine last month for $97 million, said it set aside a provision of 330 million rand for a possible settlement with miners who contracted lung disease.

A class action lawsuit, mostly relating to the fatal lung disease silicosis, was filed on behalf of miners in 2012 leading Harmony Gold, Sibanye Gold, Anglo American and Gold Fields to set aside money for a possible settlement. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by Clarence Fernandez and Jason Neely)

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