Rio Tinto sees first-half profit rise, plans $1 billion share buyback


Ian Waldie | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A train loader fills train carriages with lump iron ore at Rio Tinto Group’s West Angelas iron ore mine in Pilbara. The miner’s plans to replace trains with driverless ones hit a delay in Q1.

Rio Tinto reported a rise in first-half profit for 2018 of 12 percent year-on-year, and announced an additional share buyback and dividend hike.

Underlying profit for the first six months of the year came in at $4.42 billion, up from $3.94 billion in the same period last year.

The mining giant announced plans to buy back an additional $ 1 billion in shares, aiming for completion by the end of February 2019. Rio Tinto also announced an interim dividend of $1.27 per share, up 15 percent on the year.

The Anglo-Australian multinational said it shipped 88.5 million tons of iron ore in the second quarter of the year, a jump of 14 percent compared to the second quarter of 2017, due to improved productivity and fewer adverse weather conditions. It expects the year’s shipments to be at the upper end of the current guidance range of 330 to 340 million tons.

Rio Tinto also delivered $0.3 billion in additional free cash flow in the first half from its mine-to-mine productivity program.

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