By Rhiannon Hoyle
SYDNEY--Rio Tinto PLC notched a $12.31 billion first-half net profit and more than tripled its midyear payout to shareholders, benefiting from a bull run in commodity prices that has stoked inflation expectations around the world.
The world's second-biggest mining company by market value on Wednesday said its net profit was sharply higher than the $3.32 billion achieved a year ago.
First-half underlying earnings, which strip out some one-off items, more than doubled to $12.17 billion, beating the $12.01 billion consensus estimate compiled by Vuma from 14 analyst forecasts.
The boom in profits translated into big returns for shareholders. Directors declared an interim dividend of $3.76 a share, up from $1.55 a share the same time last year. They also unveiled a special dividend worth $1.85 a share.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires