Rio Tinto annual profits treble to $14.3 bln

10th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Global mining giant Rio Tinto said Thursday annual profits had nearly trebled to $14.3 billion on the back of soaring commodities prices and strong growth in emerging markets.

The Anglo-Australian company enjoyed record underlying earnings of $14.0 billion and record operational cash flow, while net debt had been slashed from $18.9 billion to $4.3 billion.

"This year's record results reflect a combination of strong commodity markets, first-class assets and excellent operational performance at our managed operations," said chairman Jan du Plessis.

Chief executive Tom Albanese said Rio had recovered from turmoil sparked by its pre-financial crisis purchase of Canada's Alcan, which sparked a takeover bid from rival BHP Billiton and the offer of a cash injection from Chinalco.

"Rio Tinto is reinvigorated, running strongly and benefiting from favourable markets," Albanese said.

Rio announced a final dividend of 63 US cents and announced a $5.0 billion share buyback, which was due for completion at the end of next year.

© 2011 AFP

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