Rio Tinto Hits New Record Earnings With Soaring Prices
The average price that Rio Tinto earned for the iron ore from its massive Australian mining hub doubled and in some areas even tripled in the first half of 2021, the firm said on Thursday.
The world’s second-largest mining company by market value said net profit for the six months through June rose to more than US $12.3 billion from over $3.3 billion a year earlier.
First-half underlying earnings, which exclude some onetime items, more than doubled to nearly $12.2 billion, beating the more than $12 billion consensus estimate compiled by Vuma from 14 analyst forecasts.
We saw significant and prolonged price spikes during the first half, Chief Executive Mr. Jakob Stausholm said. That was underpinned by government stimulus programs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he added. The profit boom meant big returns for shareholders. Directors declared an ordinary dividend of $3.76 a share, up from $1.55 a share a year earlier. They also unveiled a special dividend of $1.85 a share.
The mining giant and its peers have been lavishing large payouts on shareholders in recent years after abandoning strategies tied to aggressive production growth in favor of a focus on productivity and profitability. The latest midyear payout totals $9.1 billion.
Rio Tinto is benefiting from elevated commodity prices, which have stirred debate about whether markets are entering an extended boom and added to fears that inflation in many economies could become more persistent.
The average price that Rio Tinto earned for the iron ore from its massive Australian mining hub doubled in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier to $168.40 a ton.
Prices for other commodities Rio Tinto produces, including copper and aluminum, also rose sharply.
Some analysts believe large iron-ore producers like Rio Tinto might be enjoying a peak in earnings and investor payouts, forecasting that prices will soon retreat