Small-cap platinum miner Bauba said on Friday interim headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-December jumped 380% from a year ago, to 4.19c.

However, compared with the six months to end-June, HEPS were down 71% from 14.7c, due to delayed development of Moeijelijk, the company’s sole operating mine.

The improvement in results compared with the period to end-December 2016 are because Moeijelijk was under care and maintenance at the time.

HEPS to end-December 2017 was in the middle of recent guidance.

Weak chrome-ore pricing and consequent slower implementation of open-cast production also contributed to the lower performance, Bauba said in a statement on Friday.

Profit before tax for the period increased 780% to R46.7m from a loss of R6.8m in the year-earlier period.

In January 2016‚ Bauba placed Moeijelijk in care and maintenance after the chrome-ore price fell under $120 a tonne‚ making the mine financially unviable. It reopened the mine in January 2017.

Bauba expects an improved second-half performance as it capitalises on the improved chrome ore market.

A production target of 30,000 tonnes of chrome ore is still expected to be achieved by the first half of the 2019 financial year, the company’s statement read.

Underground production of 25,000 tonnes was forecast for the 2018 financial year.

At 10am Bauba’s share price was up 1.33% to 76c, having gained 20.63% so far in 2018.