/ 24 July 2008

Safety first, says Kumba at release of results

Kumba Iron Ore remains committed to zero harm, and safety continues to be the company’s top priority, chief executive Chris Griffith told a results presentation in Johannesburg on Thursday.

”Kumba’s commitment to zero harm is reflected in the safety achievements of the first six months of 2008, which have shown meaningful improvement when measured by lost time injuries,” he said.

Kumba worked for three of the six months without a single lost-time injury, he added.

The group’s Sishen operations achieved a lost-time injury frequency rate of 0,08, ”which is the best-ever performance ever in the history of the mine”.

Thabazimbi mine achieved a lost-time injury frequency of zero for 2008 — down from 0,12 in December 2007.

Kumba Iron Ore achieved a lost-time injury frequency of 0.07 for the six months, recording only four lost-time injuries in the period.

”However, it is with regret that the group suffered one fatality for the period,” Griffith said. A 42-year-old truck operator was fatally injured at the Sishen mine in April, he said.

Earlier, the company announced that in the period ended June 30 2008, revenue had risen by 67% as a result of higher sales volumes, stronger iron-ore prices and increased revenue from shipping services.

Despite continued pressure on operating expenses, Kumba’s operating margin increased to 58% in 2008 from 54% in 2007.

Profit for the six months ended June 30 2008 was R3,5-billion, while headline earnings were up 76% from R1,6-billion to R2,8-billion.

Cash generated by operations for the period increased to R4,6-billion, up 52% compared with the R3-billion generated during the corresponding period in 2007.

Attributable and headline earnings for the six months were 890 cents per share, on which an interim cash dividend of 800 cents per share was declared. — Sapa