Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “Rio Tinto has generated net cash from operating activities of $3.2 billion and reported underlying earnings of $1.6 billion, against a backdrop of continued volatility and lower commodity prices.
“We focus on delivering value to shareholders. This focus is unrelenting, with further cost reductions achieved in the half and EBITDA margins of 33 per cent. With our strong operating cash flows, tight control over capital expenditure and progress on divestments, the balance sheet remains robust. Having paid the 2015 final dividend of $1.9 billion in April 2016, we reduced net debt during the half to $12.9 billion.
“Our balance sheet strength and Tier 1 assets provide a stable foundation in these uncertain and volatile markets, which is fundamental in a cyclical and capital-intensive industry. We will generate cash at every opportunity, which we will then allocate in a disciplined way to deliver returns to shareholders, while also investing in compelling growth.
“The board, today, has announced an interim dividend of 45 US cents per share, consistent with our commitment to no less than 110 US cents per share for the full year.”