Rio Tinto posts net earnings of US$5.83B in 2011, down 59% year-over-year, primarily due to US$8.9B impairment charge related to group's aluminum business; consolidated revenues up nearly 11% to US$60.54B

LONDON , February 9, 2012 (press release) – • Record underlying earnings1 of $15.5 billion, 11 per cent above 2010.
• Net earnings1 of $5.8 billion, 59 per cent below 2010, primarily as a result of an impairment charge of $8.9 billion related to the Group's aluminium businesses.
• Record underlying EBITDA1 of $28.5 billion, 10 per cent above 2010.
• Record cash flows from operations up 16 per cent to $27.4 billion.
• Capital expenditure of $12.3 billion in 2011, compared with $4.6 billion in 2010. Total capital expenditure for 2012 on approved projects and sustaining capital is expected to be $16 billion. Further project approvals, mainly in the Pilbara, are likely to increase this level of investment as the growth programme continues.
- Pilbara iron ore expansion to 283 million tonnes per annum (Mt/a) now fully approved and on track to be in operation by end of 2013: second planned phase expansion of Pilbara capacity enhanced to 353 Mt/a and completion brought forward by six months to first half of 2015.
- Growth options enhanced in Mongolia, Mozambique and South Africa: Rio Tinto moves to majority stake in Ivanhoe, completes Riversdale acquisition providing entry to an emerging major coking coal resource and announces doubling of stake in Richards Bay Minerals.
• 34 per cent increase to full year dividend to 145 US cents per share, reflecting confidence in long-term outlook.
• $7 billion share buy-back programme on track for completion by end of the first quarter. To date $6.2 billion has been completed, representing 103 million Rio Tinto plc shares equivalent to five per cent of the Group's issued share capital.

Industry Intelligence Editor’s Note: In an omitted table, the company reported FY 2011 consolidated sales of US$60.54 billion, net earnings of US$5.83 billion. For the prior year, the company reported net sales of US$55.17 billion, net earnings of US$14.24million.

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