Rio Tinto reported a full-year net profit of $A6.05 billion in 2016, driven by the surge in commodity in the second half of the year.
The company said it has generated a strong operating cash flow of $8.5 billion – 10% lower year-on-year – mainly due to working capital movements and an increasing in interest paid to $1.3 billion, of which $0.5 billion related to early redemption costs associated with the bond purchase programs.
Underlying earnings came in at $5.1 billion, $0.6 billion higher than 2015, with net debt reduced to $9.6 billion.
Commenting on the full year results, the company’s Chief Executive J-S Jacques said:
“Today’s results show we have kept our commitment to maximize cash and productivity from our world-class assets, delivering $3.6 billion in shareholder returns while maintaining a robust balance sheet. At the same time, we strengthened the portfolio and advanced our high-value growth projects as we look to the future,” Mr Jacques said.
“We enter 2017 in good shape. Our team will deliver $5 billion of extra free cash flow over the next five years from our productivity programme. Our value over volume approach, coupled with a robust balance sheet and world-class assets, places us in a strong position to deliver superior shareholder returns through the cycle.”
The company increased its full year dividend to $US1.70 a share, equivalent to $3.1 billion.