JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore reported little growth in first-half profit on Tuesday, hit by a sharp fall in iron ore prices and a slow return to pre-strike production at its flagship mine after labour unrest last year.
The company, which contributes close to 40 percent of parent Anglo American's profit, said headline earnings totalled 24.13 rand per share in the six months to end-June, from 23.88 rand a year earlier.
Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items.
Iron ore production totalled 21.6 million tonnes, in line with the same period a year ago, with export sales down 3 percent to 20.1 million tonnes.
Kumba's flagship Sishen mine in the remote Northern Cape province continued to suffer from low supply of high grade material as it recovered from strike action in the last eight months.
Around 300 workers started the stoppage in early October and the mine resumed production just over two weeks later but intimidation remained rife and the full workforce was only able to return in December, costing the company more in lost production.