August 16, 2018 / 6:11 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's Exxaro H1 profit lifts boosted by coal performance

(Adds detail, dividend)

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 16 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Exxaro Resources Ltd said on Thursday half-year profit rose 8 percent, boosted by a strong performance in its core coal business.

Diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) for continuing and discontinued operations rose to 953 cents per share for the six-month period ended June 30 2018, from 882 cents in the same period last year.

HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa, which strips out certain one-off items.

The miner said in April it planned to dispose of its remaining stake in U.S. titanium products company Tronox , valued at around $476 million to fund capital commitments, repay debt and to distribute capital to shareholders.

Exxaro said net operating profit at its coal segment rose 12 percent to 3.387 billion rand ($234.85 million), which boosted group net operating profit to 3.1 billion rand, a gain of 7 percent compared to the previous period.

The firm said it expects the outlook for its coal business to remain stable for the second half of the year on the back of strong international coal prices and favourable trading conditions in its domestic market.

Exxaro issued an interim dividend of 530 cents per share compared with 300 cents per share during the previous period. ($1 = 14.4221 rand) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Joe Brock and David Evans)

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