Africa's biggest hospital group by value, Mediclinic International, reported 10.7 percent rise in first-half profit as strong demand and favourable currency swings helped offset the dilutive effect of a rights offer.

South Africa-based Mediclinic, which also operates in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, said on Tuesday diluted headline earnings per share totalled 74.2 cents in the six months to end-September compared with 67 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, the main profit gauge in South Africa, strips out certain one-off items.

Mediclinic issued 1.4 billion rand -- or $186 million at the time -- in new shares last year to fund expansion in Switzerland, where it runs the country's biggest private hospital group.

Mediclinic said revenue increased 19 percent to 10.4 billion rand with sales from its overseas hospitals helped by weaker rand, which averaged 8.25 to the Swiss franc compared with an average exchange rate 6.96 a year earlier.

Demand for private healthcare in South Africa has increased as a fast-growing middle class signs up for health insurance but the slower economic growth and jobs losses have blunted self-funded treatments.

Shares in the company, which are up about 20 percent so far this year, fell 1.18 percent to 34.35 rand by 1233 GMT, lagging behind a 0.23 percent rise in the JSE health index.