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Rio Tinto reports 33 percent jump in net profit

"We have reported another strong set of results," chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said.


PTI 01 Aug 2018, 08:38 AM India

Mining giant Rio Tinto today reported a bumper 33 percent jump in first-half net profit on the back of strong commodity prices, rewarding shareholders with a record interim dividend and a further stock buyback.

The Anglo-Australian firm's net profit in the six months to June 30 came in at USD 4.38 billion while underlying profit, its preferred measure which excludes impairments and exchange rate losses, jumped 12 percent to USD 4.42 billion.

"We have reported another strong set of results," chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said.

"We will continue to invest in Tier 1 growth, further strengthen our portfolio and maintain a strong balance sheet in order to deliver superior returns to shareholders in the short, medium and long term." Rio declared an interim dividend of 127 US cents, totaling USD 2.2 billion, the largest half-yearly return in its history.

The world's second-biggest miner also announced a further buy-back of USD 1.0 billion of its shares, targeted at its London stock.

Rio, like other miners, has benefited from a rebound in prices of its main commodity iron ore after a slump brought on by a supply glut and a slowdown in growth in the world's top commodities consumer China.

It is also swimming in cash after offloading a raft of Australian coal assets in the past year as it moves toward a full exit from the industry.

Rio pledged that the USD 5 billion it will reap from those asset sales, minus tax, will also be returned to shareholders in a form that had not yet been determined.

The sale of its remaining coal assets in Queensland state for US$3.95 billion, which it announced earlier this year, was now complete, it said.

Rio has sold its stake in the Hail Creek mine and its interest in the undeveloped Valeria project to Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore for USD 1.7 billion.

The miner also offloaded its interest in the Kestrel mine to a consortium comprising private equity manager EMR Capital and PT Adaro Energy Tbk for USD 2.25 billion.

Rio shares closed 0.55 per cent higher at Australian dollars 81.65 ahead of the result.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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