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Rio Tinto Pays $9.1 Billion Dividend as Profit Hits RecordThomas Biesheuvel and James Thornhill
Wed, July 28, 2021, 2:50 AM·3 min read
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Rio Tinto Pays $9.1 Billion Dividend as Profit Hits Record(Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, reported its highest-ever interim profit and will pay $9.1 billion in dividends as the company and its global rivals cash in on this year’s commodities rally.
Rio is the first of the majors to post earnings, kicking off a reporting season that’s expected to see record results across the board. The industry has been one of the biggest beneficiaries from the world’s efforts to emerge from the pandemic. The trillions of dollars poured into recovery packages have ignited demand for commodities like iron ore and copper, driving prices sharply higher and sending inflation pressures rippling through the global economy.
Wednesday’s results are also the first period under the leadership of new Chief Executive Officer Jakob Stausholm, who was appointed after Jean-Sebastien Jacques left the company because of a backlash over Rio’s destruction of an ancient Aboriginal site last year. The surge in commodity prices means the new boss comes in on a high note for Rio, even as the company grapples with a slew of production setbacks that have dogged its operations in recent years.
Disruptions caused by Covid, and especially the company’s ability to move workers to its sites, added to existing problems in the first half, especially around the development of a copper project in Mongolia and at its key profit-driving iron ore mines in Western Australia. Rio’s copper business has also seen production fall as Covid takes its toll.
“In the first half we experienced too much operation instability. We have to sharpen the consistency of our performance,” the CEO said on a media call. “While today’s results clearly demonstrate the underlying quality of our asset base, our operational performance clearly is not where it has been in the past or where we want it to be.”
Stausholm also sounded a cautious note on the outlook for commodities demand in top consumer China.
(Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, reported its highest-ever interim profit and will pay $9.1 billion in dividends as the company and its global rivals cash in on this year’s commodities rally.Rio is the first of the majors to post earnings, kicking off a...