Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) 2017 half year results

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “Today we have announced total cash returns to shareholders of $3 billion. By driving performance, focusing on cash and allocating it with discipline we are delivering superior cash returns to our shareholders.

“These are strong results: operating cash flow was $6.3 billion and we met our $2 billion cash cost reduction target six months early. We are now shifting gear to focus on the untapped value from our productivity programme and continue to strengthen our portfolio to build higher returns for the future. We announced the sale of our thermal coal business in Australia for $2.7 billion and are making good progress on our compelling growth projects – Oyu Tolgoi, Amrun and Silvergrass.”

First half 2017 highlights

– Generated operating cash flow of $6.3 billion, EBITDA1 of $9.0 billion and EBITDA margin2 of 45 per cent.

– Delivered underlying earnings of $3.9 billion and net earnings of $3.3 billion.

– Achieved $2.1 billion of pre-tax sustainable operating cash cost improvements3 in 2016 and 2017 first half, meeting the target six months ahead of schedule.

– Strengthening the portfolio with all three growth projects on track and a $2.7 billion disposal announced in 2017 first half.

– Reduced net debt by $2.0 billion to $7.6 billion, with gross debt4 lowered by $2.5 billion.

– Returning cash to shareholders of $3.0 billion with respect to 2017 first half:

§ Declared interim dividend of 110 US cents per share, equivalent to $2.0 billion.

§ An increased share buy-back of $1.0 billion in Rio Tinto plc shares by the end of 2017.

§ In total represents 75 per cent of 2017 first half underlying earnings.

The Rio Tinto 2017 half year results presentation slides are available at www.riotinto.com/presentations

The presentation will be given at 10am (British Summer Time) today by Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, and chief financial officer Chris Lynch.

The live webcast will be available at www.riotinto.com/webcasts

Full half year results RNS available here

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