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JOHANNESBURG - South African precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater swung to a half-year profit, bolstered by the inclusion of its U.S platinum operations and higher prices for platinum group metals.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to June 30 were 4 cents per share, compared with a loss of 135 cents in the same period last year, in line with market expectations.

HEPS, which strip out certain one-off items, is the main profit gauge used in South Africa.

Revenue rose 24 percent to 23,910 million rand ($1.63 billion), as inclusion of a full six months of production from the U.S. platinum assets acquired in May 2017 and the higher metals prices offset lower revenue from South African gold operations.

Revenue at South African gold operations fell to 1,596 million rand, hit by a decline in output because of the closure of its Cooke mine and disruptions at Driefontein and Beatrix.

A spate of deaths at its gold operations, including a seismic event that killed seven miners in early May, have also increased pressure on the company to improve safety at its mines.

The company also said first-half results were affected by transaction and financing costs from the acquisition of Stillwater and higher restructuring costs and impairments associated with losses at South African gold operations.

Sibanye-Stillwater raised $1 billion through a rights issue last year to help to fund the $2.2 billion acquisition of United States-based Stillwater Mining. 

- REUTERS