Kumba Iron Ore’s profit climbs 24%

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Kumbaironore Independent Newspapers Two workers at a Kumba Iron Ore mine. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Johannesburg - Kumba Iron Ore said 2013 profit rose 24 percent after prices of the steelmaking ingredient climbed and the South African rand fell.

Kumba owns Africa’s largest iron-ore mine and is owned by Anglo American.

Profit excluding one-time items advanced to 15.4 billion rand, or 48.08 rand a share, from 12.1 billion rand, or 38.83 rand a share, a year earlier, Pretoria-based Kumba said in a statement today.

The median estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of 47.96 rand a share.

Gains were partially offset by output shortfalls at the Sishen mine, its largest project.

“The supply-demand balance will shift in the second half of 2014 due to more supply from Australia and Brazil, and slowing demand growth,” the company said.

“This is expected to put some pressure on the iron-ore price in the second half of 2014.”

Kumba plans to almost double total production by 2030, with new sites in western and central Africa potentially accounting for more than 20 percent of volumes.

Iron-ore suppliers are betting on resilient demand for the commodity, which entered a bull market in July as customers in China replenished stockpiles.

The company declared a final dividend of 19.94 rand a share, raising its total payout for the year by 26 percent to 40.04 rand a share.

Kumba receives payment in dollars for its iron-ore exports from South Africa, where it has all its producing assets.

The rand depreciated 19 percent against the dollar in 2013, making it the worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

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. - Bloomberg News



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