* Ukraine’s hryvnia fell 48 pct vs U.S. dollar in H1
* Ferrexpo operations are in the Poltava region, central Ukraine
* On track to hit production target (Adds details)
LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Ukrainian iron ore miner Ferrexpo posted a 32-percent rise in half year core profit, helped by a weaker Ukrainian currency and lower production costs which more than offset softer iron ore prices.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of $321 million also topped a consensus forecast of about $250 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
A 48 percent devalution of Ukraine’s hryvnia currency against the U.S. dollar, production efficiencies and a higher premium for iron ore pellet boosted profits.
The bulk of its production costs are in hryvnia while its sales are based in dollars.
Majority owned by Ukrainian billionaire and parliamentarian Kostyantin Zhevago, Ferrexpo said to date its operations have not been directly impacted by fighting in the east of Ukraine but said it is monitoring the situation.
Its facilities are located in the Poltava region, in the centre of the country.
The company said it has not been impacted so far by Russia’s decision to stop gas supply to Ukraine but said it is likely that measures will have to be taken later in the year if no agreement is found with Russia.
Ferrexpo shares are down by about 30 percent this year, hit by weaker iron ore prices and concerns about the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
The Swiss-headquartered miner said it was on track to increase its pellet output to a run rate of 12 million tonnes a year versus 10.8 million in 2013.
Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Jason Neely