Exxaro Resources Ltd. reported a 2 percent gain in first-half profit because of an increased contribution from the South African miner’s coal business, as a further improvement is expected in the second half.

Headline earnings, which exclude one-time items, rose to 3.09 rand a share in the six months to June 30, from 3.03 rand in the same period a year earlier, the Pretoria-based company said in a statement Thursday. The group declared a dividend of 90 cents a share, an increase of 38 percent from last year.

The company expects an improvement in its coal business due to "stable trading conditions in domestic markets" and a gain in thermal-coal prices, while the mines it bought from Total Coal South Africa are included in production, Exxaro said.

Coal sales increased 9 percent to 22 million metric tons, according to the company. Export volumes rose 78 percent to 4 million tons.

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