Bumper H1 profit for Rio Tinto
SYDNEY/LONDON: Global miner Rio Tinto more than doubled its first-half profit and rewarded shareholders with a record interim dividend and a further US$1 billion (RM4.29 billion) in share buybacks, citing strong demand for industrial commodities.
Underlying earnings for the six months to June 30 of US$3.94 billion missed forecasts for US$4.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but were well above last year’s US$1.56 billion on a recovery in iron ore and other commodity prices.
Rio Tinto declared a recordhigh half-year dividend of US$1.10 a share, equivalent to US$2 billion, up from 45 cents a share a year ago. The latest buyback comes on top of a US$500 million programme announced in February.
“The Chinese economy has performed well in 2017 and the outlook signs for 2018 are positive,” said chief executive JeanSebastien Jacques.
Rio’s London-listed shares were trading down 1.8 per cent in early trade, with analysts citing some disappointment over the miss in earnings, linked to the cost of paying down debt early.
Iron ore, which generated US$3.255 billion in underlying