July 23, 2019 / 6:46 AM / 5 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore H1 earnings more than treble

(Corrects to read 21.4 million tonnes, compared with 21.2 million tonnes, paragraph 6)

JOHANNESBURG, July 23 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore Ltd on Tuesday reported a 239% surge in half-year earnings, boosted by higher iron ore prices and a weaker rand/dollar exchange rate.

The company, a unit of Anglo American, posted headline earnings of 10.1 billion rand ($725.48 million).

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) were 31.51 rand in the six months ended June 30, compared with 14.51 rand a year earlier.

HEPS is the primary profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.

Total revenue jumped 77% to 34.5 billion rand, largely driven by a 57% increase in iron ore prices to $108 per tonne and the rand weakening by an average 16% against the dollar.

Total sales volumes were flat at 21.4 million tonnes (NOT 21,400 tonnes), compared with 21.2 million tonnes (NOT 21,200 tonnes) a year ago.

“For the second half of the year, we aim to improve our safety performance, increase production volumes and deliver on our full-year 700 million rand cost-savings target while continuing to achieve optimal market premia,” Chief Executive Officer Themba Mkhwananzi said.

$1 = 13.9218 rand Reporting By Naledi Mashishi; editing by Uttaresh.V and Subhranshu Sahu

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