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South Africa's Exxaro half-year earnings surge 42%, EBITDA drops

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug 22 (Reuters) - South African miner Exxaro Resources said on Thursday its half-year earnings surged 42%, as solid income from its equity investments offset lower EBITDA.

Core headline earnings per share (HEPS) rose to 17.30 rand per share in the six-month period ended June, from 12.22 rand per share in a year-ago period.

HEPS is the main profit gauge in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dived 29% to 2.813 billion rand ($184.55 million) from 3.954 billion rand in the previous year.

The miner said its EBITDA dropped due to lower revenue, inflationary pressure on costs, higher distribution costs driven by larger export volumes and a rise in rehabilitation costs resulting from revised cost estimates.

($1 = 15.2421 rand)

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)