DRDGold’s share price jumped 8.8% to R8.85 on Thursday morning after it declared a 5c interim dividend on a return to profit.

The group, which produces gold by re-processing dumps from Johannesburg’s historical mines, skipped its interim dividend in the comparative period when it reported a headline loss per share of 2.4c.

In Thursday’s results, DRDGold reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 14.3c for the six months to end-December.

Interim revenue grew 5.6% to R1.25bn and after-tax profit increased 22 times to R60.6m from R2.7m. DRDGold turned to pre-tax profit of R77.2m from a loss of R300,000.

Technical improvements of its Ergo plant helped DRDGold cut its water bill by 41% despite the price of water rising 13%. It also cut the money it spent on cyanide by 9%.

Though the amount of raw material it put through the plant declined by 3% to 12.3-million tonnes, the amount of gold produced increased 11% to 2,341kg.

"In broad brushstrokes, gold production was significantly higher due to a healthy improvement in the average yield," CEO Niel Pretorius said in the results statement.