Rio Tinto made a profit of $US3.7 billion in 2013.
The result is an improvement from a $US3.03 billion loss in 2012, which was caused by more than $US14 billion in one-off writedowns.
However the 2013 result has again been marred by writedowns, as it includes $US3.4 billion in impairments on some if its assets, and $US2.9 billion in non-cash exchange losses.
Excluding those items, Rio Tinto’s underlying profit in 2013 was $US10.2 billion, up 10 per cent from $US9.3 billion in 2012.
The impairments relate to Rio Tinto’s Mongolian copper project Oyu Tolgoi, and its aluminium assets including Kitimat in Canada and the Gove alumina refinery to be closed.
The mining giant has increased its full year dividend by 15 per cent to $US1.92 a share.
Chief executive Sam Walsh said the improved results reflected the progress the business was making to improve performance, strengthen its balance sheet and deliver greater value for shareholders.
“We have achieved underlying earnings of $US10.2 billion, exceeded our cost reduction targets and set production records,” he said.
“In turn, this has enhanced our cash flow generation and lowered net debt.”
RIO TINTO BOUNCES BACK
Full year net profit of $US3.67b, up from a loss of $US3.03b in 2012
Underlying profit of $US10.22b, up 10% from $US9.27
Dividend of $US1.92 per share, up from $US1.67
RIO TINTO TIGHTENS ITS BELT
Reduced operating costs by $US2.3b, ahead of target
Reduced exploration spending by $US1b, ahead of target
4,000 employees cut from the business
Production records set for iron ore, bauxite, thermal coal