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South Africa’s Exxaro reports jump in interim core earnings

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African coal company Exxaro Resources reported a 40% jump in core earnings due to higher coal exports and a favourable exchange rate offsetting one-off items.

Exxaro said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the six months to June 30 rose 40% to 3.929 billion rand ($224.9 million), boosted by higher commercial coal revenue offsetting higher costs.

Higher coal revenue was mainly driven by increased volumes of sales to power utility Eskom and a 39% rise in export volumes during the half-year, it said.

“Despite sustained global and domestic economic headwinds, compounded by market challenges and COVID-19, Exxaro maintained a resilient financial and operational performance, continuing our positive trajectory year-on-year,” Chief Executive Mxolisi Mgojo said.

However, headline earnings per share (HEPS) fell 24% to 13.21 rand ($0.7561) per share, compared with 17.30 rand a year earlier.

HEPS were impacted by the recognition of non-controlling interest charge of 1.224 billion rand for external shareholders of Eyesizwe RF, a special purpose private company that holds a 30% shareholding in Exxaro.

Coal production increased by 7% to 1,495 kilotonnes, mainly due to its Belfast and Grootegeluk mines.

The coal miner was deemed an essential service during South Africa’s lockdown, which lasted from late March to the end of May.

($1 = 17.4720 rand)

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Tom Hogue and Jan Harvey)

The logo of South African coal mining company Exxaro is seen outside the company's Pretoria headquarters

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