South Africa's Exxaro Resources FY earnings jump on higher coal prices



South African coal mining company Exxaro Resources Ltd said on Thursday its full-year earnings climbed 7 percent, boosted by higher coal prices and the absence of one-off transactions seen a year earlier.

Core headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose to 2,159 cents or 7.167 billion rand ($496.24 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, from 2,011 cents per share or 6.295 billion rand in the same period last year.

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

Exxaro, which supplies coal to state-owned power utility Eskom, said its production volumes rose due to higher output at its Grootegeluk operations following the ramp-up of Medupi power station.

“Our supply to Eskom increased in line with contractual commitments, while all other markets remained stable,” the miner said.

Exxaro’s coal export volumes surged to a record 8 million tonnes.

Revenue jumped 12 percent to 25.491 billion rand compared with 22.813 billion rand the previous year on the back of higher coal selling prices and upbeat Eskom commercial volumes at its Grootegeluk operations, the firm said.

Exxaro declared a final cash dividend of 5.55 rand per share, bringing the total dividend up 55 percent to 10.85 rand per share compared with the year-ago period.

($1 = 14.4427 rand)

(By Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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