UPDATE 1-S.Africa's Kumba to cut costs to cope with lower iron ore prices
(Adds outlook, details)
JOHANNESBURG Feb 10 (Reuters) - South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore reported a fall in full-year headline earnings, and said it would cut production costs, capital expenditure and staff to cope with expected lower prices of the commodity this year.
South Africa's largest producer of the steel-making ingredient reported a 29 percent fall in full-year headline earnings per share on Tuesday, blaming weaker iron ore prices. Headline earnings is the main measure of profit in South Africa, and excludes certain one-time items.
The decline in export iron ore prices was however partially offset by a weaker exchange rate, said the unit of Anglo American Plc. Kumba had in January flagged that headline earnings per share would fall by as much as 31 percent.
Kumba said crude steel production is forecast to recover slowly this year due to weaker growth in China, the main consumer of its iron ore exports.
"We do not expect a major recovery in the average iron ore price and the group has undertaken a number of decisive actions to ensure that Kumba remains a resilient organisation in a low iron ore price environment," it said in a statement.
Headline earnings per share for the year to end-December slipped to 34.32 rand from 48.08 rand a year earlier.
The company declared a final dividend of 7.73 rand per share for the year compared with 19.94 rand.
($1 = 11.5750 rand) (Reporting by Peroshni Govender; Editing by James Macharia)
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