* Fortescue pays $1 final dividend
* Share prices up more than 70% this year
* Net profit jumped 49% to $4.74 bln from $3.19 bln
MELBOURNE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Fortescue Metals Group
reported on Monday record profit for the full year
ending in June and quadrupled its final dividend following
record iron ore shipments and a surge in ore prices in 2020.
The surging prices and shipments fuelled a 70% surge in
Fortescue's shares this year. The increased dividend payout
should mean a windfall of more than A$1 billion ($803.26
million) for the company's biggest shareholder, Chairman Andrew
Booming iron ore prices have burnished the balance sheets of
the world's big iron ore miners and buttressed the Australian
economy amid its first recession in a generation. Prices gained
after China, the world's biggest iron ore user, ramped up
infrastructure spending to beat a coronavirus induced economic
"It was a great result. Very straight forward, very clean
results, all the guidance was as provided," said analyst Glyn
Lawcock of UBS in Sydney. "Now it will just depend on what iron
ore prices do over the next 12 months."
Iron ore prices <SH-CCN-IRNOR62> were at $126.50 a tonne, up
36% this year.
The world's fourth-biggest iron ore miner said net profit
for the fiscal year of 2020 was $4.74 billion, up 49% from $3.19
billion a year ago. Analysts on average were expecting profit of
$4.77 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Shares rose 3.3% at A$18.59 in an otherwise flat Australian
The company declared a final dividend of A$1 per share, up
from A$0.24 paid last year.
With the final payout, total dividends for the year stood at
A$1.76 per share, up 54% on the year, representing 77% of the
company's full-year profit after tax - at the upper end of its
payout policy of up to 80%.
In 2019, Andrew Forrest was Australia's seventh richest
person, according to Forbes, with $4.6 billion, thanks largely
to his 36% stake in Fortescue.
($1 = 1.3943 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru and Melanie Burton in
Melbourne; Additional reporting by Anushka Trivedi; Editing by
Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger)