- Iron ore group Ferrexpo said it expected first-half earnings to increase 'materially' year-on-year driven by higher pricing, production and sales volumes.

The company also expected to benefit from lower input costs during the half.

While the average cost of production was likely to increase in first-half, compared with a year earlier, cost inflation 'has been lower than expected due to a fall in the Brent oil price and the European gas price partially offset by an appreciation of the Ukrainian Hryvnia versus the US Dollar,' the company said.

'Ferrexpo continues to be well positioned to supply a high quality iron ore product to the top steel mills in the world receiving a record price premium for its product. The Group's balance sheet remains strong with net debt expected to further reduce compared to 31 December 2018,' said Steve Lucas, Chairman of Ferrexpo.

'The Independent Review into how Ferrexpo's donations to a third party charity in Ukraine were used remains ongoing. The Company will make an announcement to shareholders when the Independent Review Committee completes its work. To date, after a significant amount of work on the part of our forensic accountants and legal advisors, there has been no conclusive evidence of any wrongdoing.'

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