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African Rainbow Earnings Surge as Iron-Ore Unit’s Profit Doubles

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March 7 (Bloomberg) -- African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the company chaired by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, said first-half profit rose 66 percent after earnings from its iron-ore unit more than doubled as prices rose and the rand weakened.

Earnings excluding one-time items were 2.3 billion rand ($217 million) for the six months ended Dec. 31 from 1.4 billion rand a year earlier, Johannesburg-based African Rainbow said in a statement today. Profit from the ferrous division, which comprised 92 percent of total earnings, was 2.2 billion rand.

Benchmark ore with 62 percent iron content delivered to the Chinese port of Tianjin traded at an average of about $135 a dry ton in 2013, 5.5 percent more than in 2012, according to The Steel Index. African Rainbow receives payment in dollars for its exports of the steelmaking ingredient from South Africa. The rand depreciated 19 percent against the dollar last year, making it the worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Further growth in “ARM’s iron-ore and manganese-ore production will be aligned with Transnet’s expansion plans,” the company said, referring to Transnet Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail operator, which plans to expand capacity to enable producers to increase exports.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren in Johannesburg at ajansevanvuu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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