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Rio Tinto annual profit rises 20%, declares record dividend

Feb 17 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto on Wednesday posted a 20% jump in annual underlying earnings and declared a bumper dividend as iron ore prices soared on top consumer China’s infrastructure push to support an economic rebound from a coronavirus-led slump.

Underlying earnings for the year ended Dec. 31 rose to $12.45 billion from $10.37 billion a year earlier, beating analysts’ estimates of $12.02 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The global miner declared a final dividend of $3.09 per share, higher than $2.31 per share in 2019, in its first set of annual results since appointing Jakob Stausholm as its new chief executive officer. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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