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Rio Tinto FY19 Pre-Tax Profit Down; Revenue Up 7%

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF,RIO,RIO.L, RTPPF) on Wednesday reported lower pre-tax profit for the full fiscal year 2019, but sales revenues grew 7 percent, primarily driven by higher iron ore prices.

The Group reported pretax profit of $11.1 billion, compared to $18.2 billion, a year ago. Net profit for the year slid 41 percent to $8.01 billion, and earnings per share in cents was 487.8 versus 787.6 last year.

On an underlying basis, earnings grew 18 percent to $10.37 billion, and earnings per share rose 24 percent to 636.3 cents. Underlying EBITDA was $21.20 billion, an increase of 17 percent from last year, primarily driven by higher iron ore prices.

Fiscal 2019 sales revenue for the Group totaled $43.17 billion, compared to $40.52 billion in the previous year. Revenue improved 7 percent primarily driven by higher iron ore prices, partially offset by lower copper and aluminium prices.

In addition, Rio Tinto said it is evaluating the impact of the Covid-19 virus, which could create significant uncertainty for its business in the near term. The company noted that its guidance is unchanged from prior disclosures. For fiscal 2020, the Group foresees capital expenditure of around $7 billion.

The final ordinary dividend was $3.7 billion, resulting in a full year ordinary dividend of $6.2 billion and total cash returns of $7.2 billion, the company noted.

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