JOHANNESBURG, Sept 6 (Reuters) - South African minerals and metals producer Assore reported a 1.9 percent fall in annual profit on Thursday as a strong rand currency offset favourable commodity prices and higher sales.
Assore, which also produces manganese and chrome ore, said headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year to June 30 fell to 4,953 cents from 5,049 cents.
Headline EPS, which strips out certain one-off items, is the most widely watched profit measure in South Africa.
A stronger rand curtailed higher commodity prices and sales.
Iron ore and chrome sales grew for a fourth consecutive year by 5 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
“The average market price for iron ore was stable over the full year 2018 ...These factors were, however, not sufficient to counter the effect of the stronger rand-U.S. dollar exchange rate,” the company said.
Assmang, a joint venture with African Rainbow Mineral’s , increased its contribution to overall earnings by 8 percent to 7.1 billion rand ($459 million).
The company said that while it was not negatively impacted by U.S. trade tariffs further escalation could impact economic growth and steel demand.
Assore announced a dividend of 12 rand per share and a total full year dividend of 22 rand per share.
$1 = 15.4800 rand Reporting by Patricia Aruo; editing by Sunil Nair and Jason Neely