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South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett expects H1 profit to rise 5 pct

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 2 (Reuters) - South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett expects half-year profit to rise 4.8 percent as production recovered after a two-year drought and due to land sales, it said in a trading update on Thursday.

The company is due to release its results for the first half ended Sept. 30 on Nov. 13.

It said headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the half-year ending Sept. 30 would be approximately 573 cents per share, up from 547 cents per share for the same period last year.

HEPS, which strips out one-off items, is the main profit measure in South Africa.

"The sugar operations have seen the beginning of the production volume recovery after the drought conditions of the previous two years," the company said.

An El Nino-induced drought in southern Africa, which saw the driest year on record in 2015, crippled production of maize, sugar and other agricultural products.

Tongaat Hulett said it generated an operating profit of 441 million rand ($32 mln) from the sale of 68 hectares of land for development.

($1 = 13.9451 rand) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Susan Fenton)