Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian diversified mining and commodities group, headlined its annual results on Wednesday by announcing a $6.2bn cash distribution to shareholders.
Thanks largely to higher commodity prices in 2017, Rio Tinto said it generated $13.9bn in operating cash flow. The company said it would distribute $5.2bn to shareholders through a record full-year dividend of $2.90 a share, while also returning a further $1bn through a share buyback.
Other full-year highlights
- Consolidated sales revenue of $40bn was 15.5% higher than in 2016
- Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 18.6bn, up 38% on 2016
- Underlying earnings of $8.6bn, up 69% on 2016
- Net earnings of $8.8bn were up 90% on 2016
- Underlying earnings per share of $4.83 were up 91% on 2016
- EBITDA margin of 44% compared with 38% in 2016
Rio's chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques (left) said: "Today we have announced a strong set of results with operating cash flow of $13.9 billion, a record full year dividend of $5.2 billion and an additional $1 billion share buy-back. This brings total cash returns to shareholders to $9.7 billion declared for 2017.
"The strength of our cash flow is a result of resilient prices during the year coupled with a robust operational performance and a focus on mine to market productivity.
"Our strong balance sheet, world-class assets and disciplined allocation of capital puts us in the unique position of being able to invest in high-value growth through the cycle, and consistently deliver superior cash returns to shareholders."
Shares in Rio Tinto were flat after nearly an hour of trade, at $38.46 on a FTSE 100 index that was up 0.44% after two days of heavy losses.