November 23, 2017 / 5:36 AM / a year ago

S.Africa's PPC HY earnings jump on strong Zimbabwe, Rwanda sales

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 23 (Reuters) - South African cement maker PPC Ltd on Thursday reported a 36 percent rise in half-year earnings, helped by robust performance in Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

PPC, the subject of tie-up as approaches from local rival AfriSam, Switzerland's LafargeHolcim and Irish building materials firm CRH, said headline earnings per share for the six months ended September rose to 19 cents from 14 cents.

Headline EPS, a widely-used performance measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

Group revenue inched up 1 percent to 5.2 billion rand ($375.70 million), while core profit or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose by 4 percent to 1.2 billion rand.

The company, which has pushed deeper into the rest of Africa as profit has slumped in its domestic market, increased its cement capacity by 33 percent in the year to end March after commissioning its Zimbabwe mill and projects in Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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