* Headline EPS at 152 cents vs 96.1 cents
* Sales up 21 percent at 14.1 billion rand
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 6 (Reuters) - South Africa’s biggest private hospital firm Mediclinic International Ltd posted a 58 percent rise in first-year profit on Tuesday, helped by currency swings and a robust showing at its home market.
Mediclinic, which also operates in the Middle East and Switzerland, said normalised headline earnings per share totalled 152 cents in the six months to end-September compared with 96.1 cents a year earlier.
Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.
Sales increased 21 percent to 14.1 billion rand ($1.38 billion), with its South African business growing by 11 percent and its Switzerland business growing by 7 percent in constant foreign exchange rates.
Mediclinic said revenue from Switzerland grew by nearly a third when the proceeds are converted into the rand, which was about 20 percent weaker against the Swiss franc during the period from a year earlier.
Demand for private healthcare is increasing in South Africa as a fast-growing middle class take up medical insurance but weaker economic growth in Switzerland has weighed on the Cape Town-based firm.
Shares of Mediclinic were down 1.2 percent at 73.74 rand, underperforming a 0.7 percent rise in the benchmark Top-40 index. ($1 = 10.2405 South African rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Dolan)