November 13, 2017 / 6:08 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's Tongaat Hulett posts 5 percent rise in HY profit

(Gives quote, adds detail)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 13 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Tongaat Hulett reported a 5 percent rise in half-year profit on Monday, boosted by recovered production after a two-year drought and income from land sales.

Diluted headline earnings per share - the main profit measure in South Africa - rose to 573.8 cents per share in the six months ended Sept. 30 compared with 546.7 for the same period the previous year.

Sugar output volumes have started to recover after the lengthy drought but gains were offset by lower world sugar prices and high imports into South Africa, the company said.

Tongaat Hulett expects to increase its share of regional sugar production to 26 percent in 2017/18, from 22 percent in the previous season.

An El Nino-induced drought in southern Africa, which led to the driest year on record in 2015, crippled production of maize, sugar and other agricultural products.

Tongaat Hulett said it benefited from land conversion and development activities with the sale of 35 developable hectares during the period.

The firm declared an interim dividend of 100 cents per share. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Joe Brock)

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