Feb 15 (Reuters) - Australian miner South32 Ltd on Thursday reported a 14 percent jump in half-year underlying profit helped by higher production of manganese, for which it is the world’s top producer, and strong commodity prices.
The miner, a BHP spin-off, posted $544 million in underlying profit for the half year to Dec. 31, compared with $479 million a year earlier. This missed the average estimate of four analysts of $574 million.
South32 declared an interim dividend of 4.3 cents per share, higher than the 3.6 cents a share a year ago, while also declaring a special dividend of 3 cents per share. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish)