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DRDGold earnings increase

Johannesburg - South Africa's DRDGold, reported a 25 percent increase in second-quarter profit on Tuesday, lifted by higher prices and production and declared its first interim dividend.

South Africa's fourth-largest gold producer said diluted headline earnings totalled 25 cents per share in the three months to end-December, from 20 cents in the preceding quarter.

File image: Reuters. Credit: REUTERS

Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items.

The company said it was helped by a 9 percent increase in gold production and a 7 percent increase in the average rand gold price received during the quarter.

DRDGold's production, which came in at 39,031 ounces in the second quarter, comes from surface operations and the extraction of gold contained in mine dumps surrounding Johannesburg.

Chief Executive Niel Pretorius, who describes his company as a gold plant more than a gold mine, is targeting production of between 140,000 and 150,000 ounces a year.

The company has decided to sell four of five exploration assets in Zimbabwe saying the underground mining potential at prospects did not sit with its strategy of keeping operations above ground.

But it said prospects for gold tailings reclamation in the country are still being evaluated.

DRDGold said it would pay an interim dividend of 14 cents per share, its first time to pay an interim dividend.

Shares of DRDGold have gained more than 13 percent in this year to date, compared to a 3.3 percent decline in the JSE's Gold Index. - Reuters

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