On Wednesday, Rio Tinto announced its half-year results that included a profit of $3.94 billion, more than double of 2016’s $1.56 billion. The company also announced a return of $3 billion to shareholders.
“These are strong results: operating cash flow was $6.3 billion and we met our $2 billion cash cost reduction target six months early,” said Rio Tinto Chief Executive J-S Jacques. “We are now shifting gear to focus on the untapped value from our productivity program and continue to strengthen our portfolio to build higher returns for the future.”
The company announced the sale of its thermal coal business in Australia for $2.7 billion and Jacques said progress is being made at Oyu Tolgoi, Amrun and Silvergrass.
The cash return to shareholders included the largest interim dividend in the company’s history of $1.10 per share, equivalent to $2 billion, and an increased share buyback of $1 billion by the end of 2017.
The company generated operating cash flow of $6.3 billion, EBITDA of $9 billion and EBITDA margin of 45%. It also achieved $2.1 billion of pre-tax sustainable operating cash cost improvements in 2016 and 2017 first half, meeting the target six months ahead of schedule.