Kumba's profit has fallen. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Johannesburg - Kumba Iron Ore Ltd., the owner of Africa’s biggest mine producing the steelmaking raw material, said full-year profit fell 28 percent and missed estimates as costs climbed and output decreased.

Net income fell to 12.2 billion rand ($1.4 billion), from 17 billion rand a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based unit of Anglo American Plc said today in a statement.

That compares with the 12.4 billion-rand median of eight analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

Earnings per share excluding one-time items slid to 37.97 rand, from 53.13 rand, after the company a month ago projected a range of 36.30 to 38.80 rand.

Average export iron- ore prices declined 23 percent to $122 a metric ton.

Kumba’s Sishen mine produced less ore in the fourth quarter, primarily because of a labor strike followed by low levels of employee attendance, it said on January 25.

Workers returned to the mine and production resumed in December.

Global crude-steel output is expected to grow at “similar levels” this year to 2012, when it increased 2 percent, the company said. - Bloomberg