Rio Tinto H1 net profit surges on strong global demand

  • Business
  • Saturday, 31 Jul 2004

MELBOURNE: Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc said on Thursday its net profit for the first six months this year rose to US$1.44bil, from US$641mil a year ago, fuelled by strong global demand and high commodity prices. 

Excluding the sale of some of the company's assets, including a large chunk of shares in a copper mining operation, earnings rose to US$993mil. 

And the company said it was optimistic the strong performance would continue. 

“Much of the momentum built up in metals and minerals markets during the first half of the year should continue through the second,'' chairman Paul Skinner said in a statement. 

Skinner said that global markets “are benefiting from generally improved economic performance''. 

Chief executive Leigh Clifford said the company had overcome many operational challenges early in the first half, with Australian iron ore operations now back to normal following bad weather that hampered mining. 

“Many of our businesses now have greater opportunities than they have had for a number of years as a result of the strength in demand for their products from China and elsewhere,'' Clifford said. 

China's voracious appetite for raw materials to fuel its economic boom also helped the company, he said. – AP  

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