Rio Tinto has reported its biggest first-half profit since 2014 and declared a bumper dividend, as red-hot iron ore prices helped offset the impact of disruptions caused by a cyclone in late March.
Prices of the steel-making commodity have spiked this year after disruptions caused by a cyclone in Western Australia added to a supply cut from world’s top iron ore miner Vale.
The surging prices have swelled coffers of the Australian miner even as production dipped due to operational challenges and the impact of the cyclone.
Underlying earnings for the six months ended June 30 rose to $US4.93 billion ($A7.2b) from $US4.42 billion ($A6.45b) a year earlier, the miner said.
The figure was roughly in line with a consensus estimate of $US4.95 billion ($A7.23b) compiled by Vuma Financial.
Rio declared a 19 per cent higher interim dividend of 219.08 Australian cents per share.
The world’s no.2 miner of iron ore also announced a special dividend of 88.5 Australian cents per share.
Both dividends will be fully franked.