27/02/2019 - 15:43

Rio Tinto earnings up 2%, dividend boosted

27/02/2019 - 15:43

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Australia's biggest miner Rio Tinto says it will return billions to shareholders, after it recorded a 2 per cent rise in underlying earnings for 2018, to US$8.63 billion ($12.2 billion).

Rio Tinto earnings up 2%, dividend boosted
Rio Tinto says it will distribute a special dividend of around $3.39 per share.

Australia's biggest miner Rio Tinto says it will return billions to shareholders, after it recorded a 2 per cent rise in underlying earnings for 2018, to US$8.63 billion ($12.2 billion).

The figure was significantly higher than a consensus estimate of $11.8 billion compiled by Vuma Financial, Reuters reported.

Rio Tinto said it would distribute a special dividend of around $3.39 per share and a final dividend of approximately $2.51 per share, both fully franked.

Rio's iron ore division reported underlying earnings of $9.07 billion, a fall of around 3 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period.

The company also said its drilling had discovered early signs of copper and gold mineralisation at its Winu project in Western Australia, 350 kilometres south-east of Port Hedland.

Rio chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said the company had delivered record cash returns to shareholders in 2018 of $18.8 billion on the back of $25.07 billion of underlying EBITDA and a return on capital employed of 19 per cent.

"These strong results reflect the efforts of the team to implement our value-over-volume strategy as we continued to strengthen the portfolio and invest in future growth," Mr Jacques said.

Shares in Rio Tinto closed trade 0.59 per cent higher at $95.12 each. 

 

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