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Rio Tinto announces bumper final year dividend

Rio Tinto reveals new emissions goals

Rio Tinto has revealed a record $6.5bn final dividend as well as announcing new long-term carbon emission targets. 

The mining giant will pay a dividend of $3.09 a share, plus a one-time payout of 93 cents per share. In addition to the company’s half-year dividend, Rio Tinto’s payout for the financial year will amount to $9bn. 

Following the global economy’s ongoing recovery from worldwide lockdowns, Rio has benefited from a sustained rally in commodity prices, particularly iron ore, allowing the company to payout a generous dividend. 

Rio Tinto also announced a 22% rise in annual net profit of $9.77bn for 2020, up from $8.01bn the year before. 

The world’s leading producer of iron ore also reported a 20% increase in underlying earnings to $12.45bn, above analyst forecasts of $11.75bn. 

Jakob Stausholm, chief executive of Rio Tinto, praised the company’s response to the coronavirus-induced slump during 2020, while acknowledging the events at Juukan George. 

“It has been an extraordinary year – our successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic and strong safety performance were overshadowed by the tragic events at the Juukan Gorge, which should never have happened,” Stausholm said. 

“During 2020, the agility and resilience of the business and our employees, coupled with strong commodity prices, enabled us to deliver underlying EBITDA of $23.9 billion and Return on Capital Employed of 27%.” 

Rio also outlined plans to deal with carbon emissions, by pledging to reduce its steelmaking carbon intensity by at least 30% from 2030. 

“My new executive team and wider leadership of the company are all committed to unleashing Rio Tinto’s full potential. We will increase our focus on operational excellence and project development and strengthen our ESG credentials,” Stausholm continued. 

“Working closely with the Board, we must earn the right to become a trusted partner for Traditional Owners, host communities, governments and other stakeholders but we all recognise that this will require sustained and consistent effort.”

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