Rio Tinto announces cash generation of $8.5 billion and $3.6 billion of shareholder returns


8 February 2017

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “Today’s results show we have kept our commitment to maximise cash and productivity from our world-class assets, delivering $3.6 billion in shareholder returns while maintaining a robust balance sheet. At the same time, we strengthened the portfolio and advanced our high-value growth projects as we look to the future.

“We enter 2017 in good shape. Our team will deliver $5 billion of extra free cash flow over the next five years from our productivity programme. Our value over volume approach, coupled with a robust balance sheet and world-class assets, places us in a strong position to deliver superior shareholder returns through the cycle.”

2016 highlights

  • Generated strong operating cash flow of $8.5 billion and underlying earnings of $5.1 billion.
  • Achieved $1.6 billion of pre-tax sustainable operating cash cost improvements.1
  • Investing in three major growth projects in bauxite, copper and iron ore.
  • Optimising the portfolio with disposals of $1.3 billion announced or completed in 2016 and up to $2.45 billion announced to date in 2017.
  • Strengthened the balance sheet further with net debt reduced to $9.6 billion.
  • Returning cash to shareholders with $3.6 billion announced with respect to 2016:
    • full year dividend of 170 US cents per share, equivalent to $3.1 billion.
    • share buy-back of $0.5 billion in Rio Tinto plc shares over the course of 2017.
    • in total, represents 70 per cent of 2016 underlying earnings.

Source: Rio Tinto